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April 11, 2006, 10:45 PM CT

Why Do We Lie?

Why Do We Lie?
Though explicit talk of money may be considered gauche, we are frequently confronted with the dreaded query "How much did you pay for that?" Our response to being put on the spot? Lies. But a new study in the recent issue of the Journal of Consumer Research found that we are more likely to muddle the truth with our coworkers than with perfect strangers. Interestingly, the scientists also found that people are most likely to lie and claim they got a bargain than to inflate the price they actually paid.

"We found that consumer's willingness to lie is correlation to not only a desire to protect their public selves, or the impressions they convey to others, but also [their] private selves, or their sense of self worth," explain Jennifer J. Argo (University of Alberta), Katherine White (University of Calgary), and Darren W. Dahl (University of British Columbia).

The first study to use social comparison theory to explain why and when we lie, the scientists argue that our willingness to lie is directly correlation to perceived threats to our self-esteem and self-image. People feel threatened by the possibility of being suckers and lie more readily when they overpaid for an item. However, people are less likely to lie if they know that a better deal is attainable, say, with a short-term gym membership.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

April 10, 2006, 7:05 PM CT

Genetic Linkage In Drug Addiction

Genetic Linkage In Drug Addiction
Based on data obtained from one of the largest family sets of its kind, Yale School of Medicine scientists have identified a genetic linkage for dependence on drugs such as heroin, morphine and oxycontin.

The lead author, Joel Gelernter, M.D., professor in the Department of Psychiatry, said the scientists recruited a sample of 393 small families, most with at least two individuals with opioid dependence. They then searched genetic signposts throughout the entire genome in an effort to identify markers that, within the same family, would show that individuals who share the illness also share marker alleles, or gene variants.

This information allowed the team to identify where genes influencing opioid dependence are located. Gelernter said the scientists found evidence of gene linkage for opioid dependence. They also found good evidence of linkage in the family groups for the symptom cluster traits characterized by dependence on substances other than opioids, specifically, alcohol, cocaine and tobacco.

"These results provide a first basis to identify genes for opioid dependence from a genome-wide investigation," Gelernter said. "Research in the laboratory now is focused on finding specific genes that modify risk for opioid dependence."

He said that eventhough environment plays a significant role, it is well established that substance dependence risk is also genetically influenced. Understanding the genetic factors that influence opioid dependence risk would represent major progress toward understanding the basic biology of the disorder.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

April 9, 2006, 8:05 PM CT

Who knows their children best, teachers or parents?

Who knows their children best, teachers or parents?
Scientists have generally believed that teachers are better than parents at evaluating the behavior of school children, because teachers have a bigger group of children for comparison. A University of Virginia study, however, shows that parents are better at assessing their child's emotional states, while teachers are better at rating bad behaviors. The results emphasize the importance of teachers and parents working together in the child's best interest.

Associate professor Timothy Konold, coordinator of research, statistics and evaluation at U.Va.'s Curry School of Education, will report his findings on April 8 at the annual American Educational Research Association (AERA) meeting in San Francisco.

"Our results indicate that both parents and teachers are important considerations when assessing a child's overall behavioral disposition," Konold said.

"The results have important implications for the manner in which we collect information on child behavior problems that are used to inform instruction and counseling decisions," he said.

Konold based his research on ratings given by mothers, fathers and teachers of a representative sample of 562 first-graders in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care. U.Va. is one of 10 sites of this national, 15-year research project, led by Robert Pianta, an authority on early childhood education, who is also a Curry School education professor.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

April 6, 2006, 11:18 PM CT

Moderate Drinking Causes Better Cognition In Women

Moderate Drinking Causes Better Cognition In Women
A drink or two a day may be associated with better cognitive function in women, according to a report from an ongoing study of New York City residents. The report was published in the rapid access issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

"Women who had up to two drinks a day scored about 20 percent higher on the Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE) than women who didn't drink at all or who consumed less than one drink a week," said Clinton Wright, M.D., M.S., lead author of the study and assistant professor of neurology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in New York. "The difference remained after adjusting for risk factors such as income, marital status, race or ethnicity and other vascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and cardiac disease".

The researchers said they were surprised by the lack of association between carotid plaque and alcohol consumption. Other research had suggested that alcohol consumption might slow the progression of plaque, the fatty material that builds up in arteries and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

"This study suggests that the relationship between alcohol and cognition was not mediated by large vessel atherosclerosis," Wright said. "Future studies with brain imaging are planned to examine the importance of small vessel disease in this relationship".........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

April 5, 2006, 11:36 PM CT

Cohabiting Is Bad For Women's Health

Cohabiting Is Bad For Women's Health
WOMEN eat more unhealthy foods and tend to put on weight when they move in with a male partner, as per a new report by the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Conversely, a man's diet tends to become healthier when he starts cohabiting with a female partner - and her influence has a long-term positive impact.

The reason for the change in dietary habits, say experts, is that both partners try to please each other during the 'honeymoon period' at the start of a cohabiting relationship, by adjusting their routine to suit their partner and eating food that he or she likes.

However, women have the strongest long-term influence over the couple's diet and lifestyle, mainly because the majority of female partners still assume the traditional role of food shopper and cook.

The report, by Newcastle University's Human Nutrition Research Centre, is reported in the health professional title Complete Nutrition.

It reviews the findings of a variety of research projects from the UK, North America and Australia which looked at the eating and lifestyle habits of cohabiting heterosexual couples, including married couples.

The research shows that women are more likely to put on weight and increase their consumption of foods high in fat and sugar when they move in with their partner. Men, conversely, report a reduction in 'bad foods' when they begin to cohabit, reducing fat and sugar and increasing consumption of vegetables.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

April 5, 2006, 10:09 PM CT

Low Self-esteem At Age 11 Predicts Drug Dependency At 20

Low Self-esteem At Age 11 Predicts Drug Dependency At 20
Every parent worries that his or her child may turn to drugs, or worse, become dependent on them, and a new Florida State University study indicates that parents of boys who have very low self-esteem and have friends who approve of drug and alcohol use may have good cause to worry.

FSU sociology professors John Taylor and Donald Lloyd, along with University of Miami professor emeritus George Warheit, found that low self-esteem and peer approval of drug use at age 11 predicted drug dependency at age 20. The scientists came to that conclusion after analyzing data from a multiethnic sample of 872 boys collected over a period of nine years. The study was reported in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse.

"Low self-esteem is kind of the spark plug for self-destructive behaviors, and drug use is one of these," Taylor said. "It's a fundamental need to have a good sense of self. Without it, people may become pathologically unhappy with themselves, and that can lead to some very serious problems."

Children with very low self-esteem, or what the scientists called self-derogation, were 1.6 times more likely to meet the criteria for drug dependence nine years later than other children. The scientists also found that early drug use is an important risk factor in drug dependence. The odds of drug dependence among early drug users were 17.6 times greater than among those who had not tried drugs by age 13. Put another way, 37 percent of those who reported using drugs at age 13 later met criteria for drug dependence compared to only 3 percent of those who had not tried drugs by 13.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

April 4, 2006, 10:41 PM CT

Americans Engage In Unhealthy Behaviors To Manage Stress

Americans Engage In Unhealthy Behaviors To Manage Stress
Americans engage in unhealthy behaviors such as comfort eating, poor diet choices, smoking and inactivity to help deal with stress, as per a new national survey released recently. People experiencing stress are more likely to report hypertension, anxiety or depression and obesity. In particular, women report feeling the effects of stress on their physical health more than men. The survey results seem to tie in with what research shows, that 43 percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress. Given the potential health complications correlation to stress, it is fair to say stress certainly is a health problem in America.

The survey, conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) in partnership with the National Women's Health Resource Center and, looked at how people deal with stress and its effect on mind/body health among women and men.

Comfort Eating and Poor Diet Choices.

As per the survey findings, one in four Americans turns to food to help alleviate stress or deal with problems. Comfort eaters report higher levels of stress than average and exhibit higher levels of all the most common symptoms of stress, including fatigue, lack of energy, nervousness, irritability, and trouble sleeping. Comfort eaters are also more likely than the average American to experience health problems like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. In addition, 65 percent of comfort eaters characterize themselves as somewhat or extremely overweight and are twice as likely as the average American to be diagnosed with obesity.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

April 4, 2006, 10:34 PM CT

Peer Exclusion Among Children Results In Reduced Classroom Participation

Peer Exclusion Among Children Results In Reduced Classroom Participation
Children who are excluded from activities by their peers are more likely to withdraw from classroom activities and suffer academically, as per a recent study in the Journal of Educational Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA).

A longitudinal study, conducted over a five-year period following 380 students from age 5-years old to 11-years old, found that children who are rejected by their peers have more trouble engaging in school activities than children who are not rejected by their peers. This kind of rejection can increase the likelihood that children are victimized or excluded by peers and impair a child's ability to interact with other children, participate in classroom activities and participate in the social context of the classroom. It can result in long-term maladjustment that may endure throughout a child's school years.

Despite the recent emphasis that has been placed on bullying and victimization in school children," exclusion, eventhough not as visible as verbal or physical forms of abuse, may be especially detrimental to children's participation in a number of school activities," said lead author Eric Buhs, Ph.D., of the University of Nebraska. Relative to other types of peer relationships, peer group rejection appeared to be one of the strongest predictors of a child's likely or unlikely success in academics. Those children who suffered rejection were more likely to avoid school and were less engaged in the classroom setting." Once children experience this kind of maltreatment or rejection from their peers, they avoid most classroom peer activities," added Dr. Buhs.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

April 4, 2006, 10:26 PM CT

Walking At A Safer, Brisker Pace

Walking At A Safer, Brisker Pace
Psychology experts wanting to help old people safely cross the street and otherwise ambulate around this busy world have found that from age 70 and up, safe walking may require solid "executive control" (which includes attention) and memory skills. For the old, slow gait is a significant risk factor for falls, a number of of which result in disabling fractures, loss of independence or even death. The finding may help explain why cognitive problems in old age, including dementia, are associated with falls. Cognitive tests could help doctors assess risk for falls; on the other hand, slow gait could alert them to check for cognitive impairment. The findings are in the recent issue of Neuropsychology, which is published by the American Psychological Association (APA).

Roee Holtzer, PhD, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study of 186 cognitively normal, community-dwelling adults aged 70 and older at New York City's Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Gait speed was tested with and without interference. In the interference conditions, participants had to walk while reciting alternate letters of the alphabet.

Performance on cognitive tests of executive control and memory, and to a lesser extent of verbal ability, predicted "gait velocity" (walking speed) tested without interference. For gait velocity tested with interference, only executive control and memory were predictive. Adding interference to the tests of gait allowed the scientists to better simulate the real world, in which walkers continually deal with distractions. The authors conclude that executive control and memory function are important when the individual has to walk in a busy environment.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

April 3, 2006, 11:56 PM CT

Lack Of Sleep May Lead To High Blood Pressure

Lack Of Sleep May Lead To High Blood Pressure
If you're middle age and sleep five or less hours a night, you may be increasing your risk of developing high blood pressure, as per a research studyreleased by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and reported in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association.

"Sleep allows the heart to slow down and blood pressure to drop for a significant part of the day," said James E. Gangwisch, PhD, lead author of the study and post-doctoral fellow in the psychiatric epidemiology training (PET) program at the Mailman School. "However, people who sleep for only short durations raise their average 24-hour blood pressure and heart rate. This may set up the cardiovascular system to operate at an elevated pressure".

Dr. Gangwisch said that 24 percent of people ages 32 to 59 who slept for five or fewer hours a night developed high blood pressure versus 12 percent of those who got seven or eight hours of sleep. Subjects who slept five or fewer hours per night continued to be significantly more likely to be diagnosed with high blood pressure after controlling for factors such as obesity, diabetes, physical activity, salt and alcohol consumption, smoking, depression, age, education, gender, and ethnicity.

The scientists conducted a longitudinal analysis of data from the Epidemiologic Follow-up Studies of the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Study (NHANES I). The analysis is based on NHANES I data from 4,810 people ages 32 to 86 who did not have hypertension at baseline. The 1982-84 follow-up survey asked participants how a number of hours they slept at night. During eight to 10 years of follow-up, 647 of the 4,810 participants were diagnosed with hypertension. Compared to people who slept seven or eight hours a night, people who slept five or fewer hours a night also exercised less and were more likely to have a higher body mass index. (BMI is a measurement used to assess body fatness). They were also more likely to have diabetes and depression, and to report daytime sleepiness.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source

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Did you know?
Too little evidence exists to recommend or rule out estrogen as a treatment for schizophrenia in women, a new review of studies finds.People diagnosed with schizophrenia suffer distorted perceptions of reality and hallucinations. Today, estrogen is strictly an experimental therapy for the psychotic symptoms associated with the mental illness. Archives of psychology news blog

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