Maria Konnikova has an article in the New Yorker on whether there is bias in social psychology against conservatives. One of the people calling attention to the issue is Jonathan Haidt, whose work my long time readers will know I'm generally a fan of. The core issue that Haidt is calling attention to is the … Continue reading Are social psychologists biased against conservatives? A simple check for ideological bias.
Science can't determine values, and this includes aesthetics, beauty. But that doesn't mean science has nothing to say about beauty. As this article at PolicyMic indicates, it can study what most of us see as beauty and explore the reasons why we see it as beautiful. The primary reason we are alive is to reproduce … Continue reading Beauty is determined by both biology and culture
More evidence that we are not born blank slates, and that language is probably very ancient, developing over hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years. Humans are unique in their ability to acquire language. But how? A new study shows that we are in fact born with the basic fundamental knowledge of language, thus shedding … Continue reading Language structure: You’re born with it — ScienceDaily
I've posted before about how I think that language is very ancient, probably evolving over hundreds of thousands of years, possibly millions. The evidence for this view continues to mount. It now looks like there's stronger evidence that Neanderthals could talk. We humans like to think of ourselves as unique for many reasons, not least … Continue reading Talking Neanderthals challenge the origins of speech
One of the hottest debates in evolutionary biology concerns the origin of behavior: is it genetically encoded or do animals and birds copy their parents or other individuals? A classic experiment published in 2000 seemed to provide overwhelming evidence that a particular behavioral choice (whether individuals of a species of swallow breed in a small … Continue reading The importance of (experimental) design — ScienceDaily
Jerry Coyne blogged yesterday about the trend in articles pointing out the flaws in science, noting that most of the observed problems are in medical studies, most notably in drug studies, and that generalizing these problems to all of science isn't really accurate or fair. I agree, but I have an observation about why some … Continue reading Politics and money equal bad science
Emotional intelligence is important, but the unbridled enthusiasm has obscured a dark side. New evidence shows that when people hone their emotional skills, they become better at manipulating others. When you’re good at controlling your own emotions, you can disguise your true feelings. When you know what others are feeling, you can tug at their … Continue reading The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence – Adam Grant – The Atlantic
An interesting article at io9: 8 Incredible Facts You May Not Know About Human Evolution. For most of the time that modern humans have existed on the planet, we've been hunter gatherers. It's not until about 10,000 or so years ago that people started settling down and farming, with civilization cranking up around 5000 years ago. … Continue reading 8 Incredible Facts You May Not Know About Human Evolution