AQA Issues and debates

I had an email from a teacher asking for advice about answering exam questions on issues/debates when the question says ‘include at least two topics you have studied in your answer’. I think the danger here is that students will get side-tracked by the ‘include at least two topics’. Basically you just write the essay. […]

Romanian orphans

AQA students will be familiar with Michael Rutter’s research on Romanian orphans and what it tells us about the effects of emotional deprivation. The research has been conducted by the English and Romanian Adoptee Study (ERA) which has continued to follow the children into adulthood. A recent article in the Lancet reports the latest findings […]

Electric shock and depression

Recent research shown that electric shocks may be helpful to people with depression. The electric shocks are not from ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) but using tDCS (transcranial direct current stimulation) in which electrodes are placed on the scalp which send a weak electrical current across the brain. Research has looked at the benefits for a range of […]

Female menstrual cycles synchronised

If you are studying biorhythms as part of your Psychology course, you are likely to come across an intriguing piece of research by Kathleen Stern and Martha McClintock that demonstrates how menstrual cycles (an infradian rhythm) may synchronise as a result of the influence of female pheromones. The original study in 1968 involved 29 women with […]

The Zimbardo myth

A recent post on the BPS digest looks at 10 of the most widely believed myths in psychology – specifically at research results that have been questioned. One of these relates to Zimbardo’s well-known Stanford Prison Experiment. The main conclusion Zimbardo drew from the study was that certain situations will cause people to behave in an anti-social […]

The three faces of Eve

Chris Costmore Sizemore died 24 July. Her life story became famous through the book written by her psychiatrists and the subsequent film which told the story of her multiple personalities – Eve White and Eve Black. She later was treated by other psychiatrists and experienced even greater fragmentation of her personality with over 20 ‘alters’. […]

Infant imitation work is wrong

A recent study by Janine Oostenbroek et al. (2016) suggests the results by Meltzoff and Moore, and others, are wrong. This new study is considerably more comprehensive. 64 infants were tested 4 times between the age of one week and 9 weeks, and tested on 11 different displays. There was no evidence of consistent imitation. For […]

Brain training program fined $2 million

A number of studies have failed to support the claims of brain training programmes (see here for example) and now the American Federal Trade Commission has fined one brain training company, Luminosity, $2 million for false claims about the benefits of their games for maximising your abilities and staving off the effects of dementia and memory […]

Paying homage to formal terms

This is one of my pet peeves – and something I have written about in various books. People get focus on ‘technical terms’ and fail to grasp the real meaning. Here is an example I just received in an email from a teacher: I am wrestling with task validity. It’s regarding a question evaluating the […]