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February 23 2014

08:00

This Is Your Brain on Poverty: What Science Tells Us About Poverty

truth-out.org - By Christian Exoo, Calvin F. Exoo - Feb. 23 (Special Report) - Research has only recently been able to identify poverty as a causal factor (rather than merely correlational) in debilitating medical conditions that leave people sick, unable to work and unable to think - all factors that then perpetuate poverty, leaving the poor trapped in a vicious biological cycle. So what can actual science (not Brooks' buzzword-laden version of it) tell us about poverty?

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November 06 2013

08:00

Inside the Psyche of the 1%

AlterNet - By Don Fitz - Nov. 06 (Opinion) - Do the rich and super-rich tend to be psychopaths, devoid of guilt or shame? Are the 1% lacking in compassion? Does their endless accumulation of possessions actually bring them little to no happiness? To each of these, the answer is “yes”—but a very qualified “yes” with lots of subtleties. Even more important is what these issues suggest for building a society which does not ravage the last remnants of wilderness and rush headlong into a climate change tipping point.

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October 21 2013

07:00

Inside the Conservative Brain: Why Tea Partiers Are Desperately Afraid

AlterNet - By Lynn Stuart Parramore - Oct. 21 (News Analysis) - As an illustration, powell looks at how Tea Partiers feel about Social Security, which is coming under vigorous attack just as default has been avoided. When asked individually, powell finds that the Tea Partier likes the program a lot. But she only likes it for her own group — for people who have, in her view, “worked for it.” She doesn’t want the Others to have it because she doesn’t want to be connected to “Them.” “They” don’t work the way she does. “They” don’t care about America as she does. “They” don’t belong in America. This divide between the small group and the larger community can be leveraged by politicians who wish to sway them.

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October 11 2013

07:00

How Christian Delusions Are Driving the GOP Insane

AlterNet - By Amanda Marcotte - Oct. 11 (News Analysis) - The press often talks about the Tea Party like they’re secularist movement that is interested mainly in promoting “fiscal conservatism”, a vague notion that never actually seems to make good on the promise to save taxpayer money. The reality is much different: The Tea Party is actually driven primarily by fundamentalist Christians whose penchant for magical thinking and belief that they’re being guided by divine forces makes it tough for them to see the real world as it is.

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August 23 2013

07:00

5 Most Absurd, Self-Pitying Gripes of the Christian Right

AlterNet - By Amanda Marcotte - Aug. 23 (Opinion) - Here’s a rundown of various ways Christian conservatives paint themselves as victims, and who the real victims actually are.

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August 02 2013

07:00

The Happiest States In America In One Map (INFOGRAPHIC)

Huffington Post - By Katy Hall, Jan Diehm - Aug. 02 (Special Report) - Which way to happy? Geographically speaking, it's the route to Hawaii, Maine or one of the clusters of blissful cities in California and Colorado.

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Tags: Psychology

July 04 2013

07:00

Hikikomori: Why are so many Japanese men refusing to leave their rooms?

BBC News - Jul. 04 (News) - As many as a million young people in Japan are thought to remain holed up in their homes - sometimes for decades at a time. Why? For Hide, the problems started when he gave up school. "I started to blame myself and my parents also blamed me for not going

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March 27 2013

07:00

My doctor doesn't think I'm going to die today

Daily Kos - By JohnnyRook - Mar. 27 (Opinion) - news can depress. At times it depresses me but, more than anything else, it has filled my life with meaning. I have a mission. Before I die, I want to have some sense that this beautiful planet that has provided the context for my life, will have some chance of enduring. I want to die with hope, believing that my teenage son and his children and your children and their children will live in a world that is reasonably hospitable to human beings. I don't know how that can happen if people will not face the reality of what is taking place in the world. So, I continue to sound the alarm, even though I know that most of what I write is discounted as alarmist or simply ignored as too uncomfortable to deal with.

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August 07 2012

07:00

What Mitt Romney’s Body Language Is Trying to Tell Us

AlterNet - By Leslie Savan - Aug. 07 (Opinion) - My pop-psych take is that—with some notable exceptions (like grabbing Perry, or tackling a fellow student at prep school to cut off his hair off)—Mitt finds it far safer to express the passive side of his passive-aggressiveness: arms immobile at his sides (the better to not throttle you with); mouth closed (the better to not blurt insults); eyes dreamy (the better to not shoot daggers). It all goes with how he trained himself, consciously or otherwise, to not be as honest as his dad.

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May 08 2012

07:00

Emotion can shut down high-level mental processes without our knowledge, in our native language

ScienceDaily - By Bangor University via Science Daily - May. 08 (Research) - Psychologists believe that they have glimpsed for the first time, a process that takes place deep within our unconscious brain, where primal reactions interact with higher mental processes. They have identified a reaction to negative language inputs which shuts down unconscious processing. The psychologists extrapolate this from their most recent findings working with bilingual people.

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May 02 2012

07:00

Why Is the Conservative Brain More Fearful? The Alternate Reality Right-Wingers Inhabit Is Terrifying

AlterNet - By Joshua Holland - May. 02 (News Analysis) - Consider for a moment just how terrifying it must be to live life as a true believer on the right. Reality is scary enough, but the alternative reality inhabited by people who watch Glenn Beck, listen to Rush Limbaugh, or think Michele Bachmann isn't a joke must be nothing less than horrifying. Research suggests that conservatives are, on average, more susceptible to fear than those who identify themselves as liberals.

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April 22 2012

07:00

Whether the digital era improves society is up to its users – that's us

The Guardian - By Danah Boyd - Apr. 22 (Opinion) - Social media in particular has inexorably changed the world, driving openness and fear – but it is not beyond our control Most technology designers engage in their trade to make the world a better place. Technologists love to celebrate the amazing things that people can do with technology – bridge geography, connect communities and transform societies. Meanwhile, plenty of naysayers bemoan the changes brought on by technology, highlighting issues of distraction and attention for example. Unfortunately, this results in a battle between those with utopian and dystopian viewpoints, over who can have a more extreme perspective on technology. So where's the middle ground? One of my favourite maxims about the role of technology in society is called Kranzberg's first law . He argues that "technology is neither good nor bad – nor is it neutral". It's irresponsible to assume that the tools being built just wander out into the world with only positive effects. Technology doesn't determine practice, ...

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April 18 2012

07:00

Depression in Teens Could Be Diagnosed with Blood Test

Scientific American - Apr. 18 (News Report) - Can a psychiatric disorder be diagnosed with a blood test? That may be the future if two recent studies pan out. Researchers are figuring out how to differentiate the blood of a depressed person from that of someone without depression. ...

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April 16 2012

07:00

Gay Marriage Foes May Share Psychological Quirk, Study Suggests

Huffington Post - By Stephanie Pappas - Apr. 16 (Special Report) - .The study is a demonstration of the "third-person perception," a common psychological bias in which people are convinced that others are much more influenced by outside sources such as media and advertising than they themselves are. In the realm of same-sex marriage, people who strongly value authority and tradition were the most likely to demonstrate this third-person effect.

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Tags: Psychology

March 29 2012

07:00

Why the Right's Zombie Lie About Gas Prices Is Wrong But They'll Never Let it Die

AlterNet - By Joshua Holland - Mar. 29 (News Analysis) - That narrative will be debunked again and again in news stories and editorials. The self-appointed fact-checking organizations that have proliferated in recent years will rate the claim “untrue,” or “pants on fire,” or give it “3 Pinocchios.” The dwindling ranks of “serious” conservative commenters will also call out the fallacious argument for what it is. But for many on the right, objective reality simply won't penetrate. That Obama is responsible for high gas prices – that he wants them high – will become another un-killable “zombie lie” in our political discourse.

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Tags: Psychology

March 04 2012

08:00

To predict elections, the stock market, or American Idol, go with your gut, study says

Washington Post - By Suzy Khimm - Mar. 04 (News Report) - A forthcoming article in the Journal of Consumer Research finds that trusting one’s intuition improves predictions of future outcomes from politics and the stock market to American Idol and the weather

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08:00

Are Emotions Prophetic?

Wired - By Jonah Lehrer - Mar. 04 (Special Report) - For thousands of years, human beings have looked down on their emotions. We’ve seen them as primitive passions, the unfortunate legacy of our animal past. When we do stupid things – say, eating too much cake, or sleeping with the wrong person, or taking out a subprime mortgage – we usually blame our short-sighted feelings. People commit crimes of passion. There are no crimes of rationality. This bias against feeling has led people to assume that reason is always best. When faced with a difficult dilemma, most of us believe that it’s best to carefully assess our options and spend a few moments consciously deliberating the information. Then, we should choose the alternative that best fits our preferences. This is how we maximize utility; rationality is our Promethean gift. But what if this is all backwards? What if our emotions know more than we know? What if our feelings are smarter than us?

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March 02 2012

08:00

Put Down the Phone and Learn to Be Alone (And to Listen), Says Sherry Turkle at TED

Wall Street Journal - By Sherry Turkle - Mar. 02 (News Report) - We constantly text and social network so we don’t have to feel lonely, but while peering into our phones we’re ignoring the people and the world around us. That’s a serious problem, one that should be addressed by technologists, regulators and norms, acc

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February 25 2012

08:00

Arizona Debate: Conservative Chickens Come Home to Roost

Rolling Stone - By Matt Taibbi - Feb. 25 (Opinion) - What we have here are chickens coming home to roost. It's as if all of the American public's bad habits and perverse obsessions are all coming back to haunt Republican voters in this race: The lack of attention span, the constant demand for instant gratification, the abject hunger for negativity, the utter lack of backbone or constancy (we change our loyalties at the drop of a hat, all it takes is a clever TV ad): these things are all major factors in the spiraling Republican disaster. Most importantly, though, the conservative passion for divisive, partisan, bomb-tossing politics is threatening to permanently cripple the Republican party. They long ago became more about pointing fingers than about ideology, and it's finally ruining them.

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February 24 2012

08:00

The Republican Brain: Why Even Educated Conservatives Deny Science -- and Reality

AlterNet - By Chris Mooney - Feb. 24 (News Analysis) - I can still remember when I first realized how naïve I was in thinking—hoping—that laying out the “facts” would suffice to change politicized minds, and especially Republican ones. It was a typically wonkish, liberal revelation: One based on statistics and data. Only this time, the data were showing, rather awkwardly, that people ignore data and evidence—and often, knowledge and education only make the problem worse.

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