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If we are in a relationship we are more likely to be attracted to faces resembling our own, but for single people, opposites attract. Relationship status affects who and what we find attractive, found a study published in Frontiers in Psychology. Dr Jitka Lindová of Charles University in the Czech Republic and her team showed a series of photographs of faces to university students and asked them to rate their attractiveness. The photographs were digitally manipulated…

Telling yourself I can do better, can really make you do better at a given task, a study published in Frontiers in Psychology has found. Over 44,000 people took part in an experiment to discover what motivational techniques really worked. In conjunction with BBC Lab UK, Professor Andrew Lane and his colleagues tested which physiological skills would help people improve their scores in an online game. This complex study examined if one motivational method would…

Move over sniffer dogs, people who witnessed a crime are able to identify criminals by their smell. Police lineups normally rely on sight, but nose-witnesses can be just as reliable as eye-witnesses, new research published in Frontiers in Psychology has found. “Police often use human eye-witnesses, and even ear-witnesses, in lineups but, to date, there have not been any human nose-witnesses;” explained Professor Mats Olsson, experimental psychologist at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden; “We wanted…

Is beauty only skin deep? Children don’t seem to think so, like adults and babies, children think the uglier you are, the less trustworthy you are. In a study recently published in Frontiers in Psychology, researchers have found that as children, how we perceive someone’s trustworthiness is linked to how attractive we find them. Our ability to make this trustworthiness judgement develops as we grow, becoming more consistent as we approach adulthood, and, girls are…

Our romantic choices are not just based on feelings and emotions, but how rich we feel compared to others, a new study published in Frontiers in Psychology has found. “We wanted a better understanding of the psychological importance of money in the development of romantic relationships because very little is known about this subject. That way people would have a better perspective of the relationships they are in,” explained Professor Darius Chan from the Department…

Are you busy on an average day? Do you often have too many things to do to get them all done? Do you often have so many things to do that you go to bed later than your regular bedtime? If you are over 50 and the answer to these questions is a weary yes, here is some good news: older adults with a busy daily lifestyle tend to do better on tests of cognitive…

A recent study suggests that who we are might be more integrated with where we are than previously thought. Demonstrating how architects and urban planners might take guidance from disciplines like neuroscience, philosophy and psychology, a paper published in Frontiers in Psychology, reveals that a good built environment might promote well-being and effect our decisions. Contrary to the idea that we are separate from what we experience, the study claims that we ought to think…

Always surrounded by an aura of mystery, the moon and its possible influence over human behavior has been object of ancestral fascination and mythical speculation for centuries. While the full moon cannot turn people into werewolves, some people do accuse it of causing a bad night’s sleep or creating physical and mental alterations. But is there any science behind these myths? To stablish if lunar phases somehow do affect humans, an international group of researchers…

While sharing toys and fighting with each other, kindergarten children helped researchers understand the patterns and qualities of interactions in social groups. The results were much more complex than the scientists originally predicted. “We rightfully realize that social networks are important for many aspects of our lives. Yet when asked to define networks, we normally define them as ‘any interaction’, or only a specific type of interaction. We thought this does not reflect the richness…

In the world of robot communication, it seems actions speak louder than words. Scientists in the UK have discovered that by getting robot avatars to “talk with their hands,” we understand them as well as we do our fellow human beings. Avatars have been in existence since the 1980s and today are used by millions of people across the globe. They are big business too: from artificial intelligence to social media and psychotherapy to high-end…

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Alzheimer’s Association. There is no cure and no way to slow or prevent the illness. But, patients can still benefit from both physical and cognitive rehabilitation, and researchers are learning that mimicry may be a useful tool to help them regain lost abilities. “Alzheimer’s patients are still able to voluntarily imitate the movement of an object, as well as that…

Stress – we’re all too familiar with it. More of us than ever are feeling the relentless pressure of busy lives and it is taking its toll. In the US, stress related ailments cost the nation $300 billion every year in medical bills and lost productivity. But it seems some people are able to cope with this problem much better than others. Some individuals are resilient, while others succumb to despair. The reason, scientists have…

Over the past decade, there has been a surge of scientific studies on the digital activity of people, such as making mobile calls, texting, e-mailing, and posting on social media. Because nearly all human behavior leaves a digital footprint, scientists can use such digital activity as a proxy to track human activity in general, for example to study differences between cultures or communities in sleep patterns, work schedules, and leisure activities. In a new study…

A new study in Frontiers in Neuroscience shows that social and sensory overstimulation drives autistic behaviors. The study, conducted on rats exposed to a known risk factor in humans, supports the unconventional view of the autistic brain as hyper-functional, and offers new hope with therapeutic emphasis on paced and non-surprising environments tailored to the individual’s sensitivity. For decades, autism has been viewed as a form of mental retardation, a brain disease that destroys children’s ability…

People look for candidates with a healthy complexion when choosing a leader, but don’t favor the most intelligent-looking candidates except for positions that require negotiation between groups or exploration of new markets. These results are published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Brian Spisak from the VU University Amsterdam and colleagues studied people’s implicit preferences for traits of leaders, such as health, intelligence, and attractiveness, and how they look for information about these…