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Most Popular Posts of 2016

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As 2016 comes to an end, the editors take a look back at the most read posts of the year. Some are quickly becoming classics, while others tackle new research or cover discussions important to the field. Take a look for yourself. 

 

How to Check if You're in a News Echo Chamber – and What to do About It

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Tom Stafford

If you were surprised by the result of the Brexit vote in the UK or by the Trump victory in the US, you might live in an echo chamber – a self-reinforcing world of people who share the same opinions as you. Echo chambers are a problem, and not just because it means some people make incorrect predictions about political events. They threaten our democratic conversation, splitting up the common ground of assumption and fact that is needed for diverse people to talk to each other.

Disgust Way of Communicating Moral Motivation

New research carried out by psychologists at the University of Kent has shown for the first time that a decision to express disgust or anger depends on the motives a person seeks to communicate.

Previous studies have suggested that the emotion of disgust originally evolved to protect people from infectious disease; people don’t generally eat rotten meat, crawling with maggots, because they feel disgusted by the prospect.

Prospective Motor Control in Infancy Is Related to Inhibition and Working Memory

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By Janna M. Gottwald

Executive functions are processes that help us to focus on what is important, to remember things, and to plan our daily activities. Finding early markers of executive functioning could help researchers develop interventions for children with impaired executive functioning (Diamond, 2013), but early executive functioning and its emergence in infancy are not yet sufficiently understood.

What is the Secret to Success?

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By Melissa J. Ferguson, Cornell University and Clayton R. Critcher, University of California, Berkeley

At hundreds of colleges and universities across the country, thousands of students are in the midst of the fall semester, trying to manage the academic tasks of studying, exams, papers and lectures. A lot is riding on their academic performance – earning (or just keeping) scholarships, landing summer internships, gaining employment and of course acquiring new skills and knowledge.

Does Human Nature Include an Emotion Signaling System?

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By James A. Russell

Humans everywhere easily read each other’s emotions from their faces – facial expressions of basic emotions are universally recognized -- or so we are told in our textbooks.  A new series of studies raises doubts about this claim.

Real Men Don’t Say “Cute”

Psychologists tap big data and Twitter to analyze the accuracy of stereotypes

Good Intentions Are in the Eye of the Beholder: Culture Shapes Perceived Intentionality

by Cory Clark

When determining whether someone did something intentionally, should it matter whether the action had positive or negative consequences? Logically, the downstream consequences of an action should be irrelevant to such judgments, but research reveals that U.S. Americans are far more likely to see actions with harmful side-effects as intended than identical actions with helpful ones.[1]

Consider the following example:

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