Past experiences subconsciously influence behavior

Researchers at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory report for the first time how animals’ knowledge obtained through past experiences can subconsciously influence their behavior in new situations.

Skill in recognizing faces peaks after age 30

Scientists have made the surprising discovery that our ability to recognize and remember faces peaks at age 30 to 34, about a decade later than most of our other mental abilities. Researchers Laura T. Germine and Ken Nakayama of Harvard University and Bradley Duchaine of Dartmouth College will present their work in a forthcoming issue of the journal Cognition.

People compensate after buying gifts that threaten their identity

If a vegetarian has to buy a steakhouse gift certificate for a friend, her discomfort will lead her to buy something else that reaffirms her identity, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Genetic variant that can lead to severe impulsivity identified

A multinational research team led by scientists at the National Institutes of Health has found that a genetic variant of a brain receptor molecule may contribute to violently impulsive behavior when people who carry it are under the influence of alcohol. A report of the findings, which include human genetic analyses and gene knockout studies in animals, appears in the Dec. 23 issue of Nature.

Accent shapes our perception of a person

The accent someone talks in plays a crucial role in the way we judge this person, psychologists of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany) found out recently. The study is based on the PhD thesis of Dr. Rakic in the International Graduate College Conflict and Cooperation between Social groups.

Emotional intelligence peaks as we enter our 60s

Older people have a hard time keeping a lid on their feelings, especially when viewing heartbreaking or disgusting scenes in movies and reality shows, psychologists have found. But they’re better than their younger counterparts at seeing the positive side of a stressful situation and empathizing with the less fortunate, according to research from the University of California, Berkeley.

Positive mood allows brain to think more creatively

People who watch funny videos on the internet at work aren’t necessarily wasting time. They may be taking advantage of the latest psychological science—putting themselves in a good mood so they can think more creatively.

Language could be a barrier to women reaching the top

A new research study from Aston University in Birmingham suggests that leadership language may be a barrier for business women reaching the top in their careers.

Rationalization measures are the main cause of poor work environment

Managers in the private and public sectors must consider work environment when rationalising production to obtain sustainable systems. A research study published in the journal Applied Ergonomics reveals that rationalisation measures often have a major negative impact on both the physical and psychosocial work environment.