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Babies Named for Fathers But Not Mothers Reflect U.S. Cultural Ideologies

From Cal Ripkin, Jr., to MLK to Robert Downey, Jr., finding men named after their fathers is easy. Children named after men in the family – with so-called patronyms – are common around the world. But what about matronymns – names for a mother or grandmother?

Why We Can't Accurately Judge Our Friends' Behavior

There is no such thing as objectivity when it comes to your friends: According to a new study, people evaluate their friends' behavior more positively than do strangers, regardless of actual performance on a series of tasks.

From the Bystander Effect to Political Ideologies: Excellence in Personality & Social Psychology

When you pass by a stranger in need of help, do you stop to lend a hand? Maybe not... A landmark 1973 study found that seminary students in a hurry were less likely to help someone in distress, even when they were on their way to deliver a talk on the Parable of the Good Samaritan. A co-author of that study and several other distinguished researchers are the recipients of the 2013 annual awards from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP).

Why Parenting Can Never Have a Rule Book

Any parent will tell you that there is no simple recipe for raising a child. Being a parent means getting hefty doses of advice – often unsolicited – from others. But such advice often fails to consider a critical factor: the child. A new review of dozens of studies involving more than 14,600 pairs of twins shows that children's genetics significantly affect how they are parented.
 
"There is a lot of pressure on parents these days to produce children that excel in everything, socially and academically,” says Reut Avinun of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Video Games Boost Visual Attention But Reduce Impulse Control

A person playing a first-person shooter video game like Halo or Unreal Tournament must make decisions quickly. That fast-paced decision-making, it turns out, boosts the player's visual skills but comes at a cost, according to new research: reducing the person's ability to inhibit impulsive behavior.

Jealousy Can Drive Us to View Ourselves More Like Our Rivals

If you see your partner flirt with someone else, you may feel hurt, angry, and jealous. The last thing you might expect is to start thinking of yourself more like your rival. New research suggests just that: that jealousy can prompt people to change how they view themselves relative to competitors for their partners' attention.
 
Previous research has shown that individuals often will change their self-views to be more similar to someone to whom they want to get closer, such as a romantic partner.

Divorce Early in Childhood Affects Parental Relationships in Adulthood

Divorce has a bigger impact on child-parent relationships if it occurs in the first few years of the child's life, according to new research. Those who experience parental divorce early in their childhood tend to have more insecure relationships with their parents as adults than those who experience divorce later, researchers say.
 
"By studying variation in parental divorce, we are hoping to learn more about how early experiences predict the quality of people's close relationships later in life,” says R.

When Women Sell Themselves Short On Team Projects

Working on a team is always a challenge, but a new study highlights a particular challenge to women: how much they credit themselves in a joint success. Women will devalue their contributions when working with men but not with other women, according to the new research.

Living Through a Tornado Does Not Shake Optimism

Even in the face of a disaster, we remain optimistic about our chances of injury compared to others, according to a new study. Residents of a town struck by a tornado thought their risk of injury from a future tornado was lower than that of peers, both a month and a year after the destructive twister. Such optimism could undermine efforts toward emergency preparedness.
 
After an F-2 tornado struck his town in Iowa, Jerry Suls, a psychologist at the University of Iowa who studies social comparison, turned his attention to risk perception.

Surprising Connections Between Our Well-Being and Giving, Getting, and Gratitude

New Orleans – We all know that getting a good night's sleep is good for our general health and well-being. But new research is highlighting a more surprising benefit of good sleep: more feelings of gratitude for relationships.
 
"A plethora of research highlights the importance of getting a good night’s sleep for physical and psychological well-being, yet in our society, people still seem to take pride in needing, and getting, little sleep,” says Amie Gordon of the University of California, Berkeley.

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