Bad gossip catches the eye

Gossip doesn’t just affect how you’re judged, a study shows, it controls whether people see you at all. According to evolutionists, a good prattle is vital in forging relationships.  It’s the human equivalent of chimps picking flees from each other. It’s also key to our huge social groups.  We quickly evaluate people we’ve never met, learning […]

Baby boomers

Anyone who has ever taken a long plane journey knows just how annoying babies can be. In the cramped, stuffy environment of a plane cabin sometimes the only relief you can find is in sleep. You may, miraculously, find yourself drifting off, only to be rudely brought back to Earth by the sound of a baby screaming its lungs […]

Tasty Humans

Being stuck in a dark room with a blood sucking insect is never a pleasant experience. Worse than the high pitch whine that swoops by your ear is the knowledge that you could become an unwilling blood donor at any time. There are some people however, who never seem to get bitten. What is it […]

She’s quite a dish

I love it when science demonstrates something that is bloomin’ obvious to the rest of us. In the journal of Evolutionary Psychology, researchers have published a study showing that men are significantly more likely to pay for a meal when their female companion was attractive. The scientists showed pictures of women to 245 men, and […]

I, Robot, am disgusted.

Being touched by a sexy nurse is one of the most common fantasies (not admitting anything personally here) – but how would you feel if your object of affection was a robot? Researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology found that volunteers were happy to be touched by a robot nurse, if under the impression they […]

‘Unseen Science’ – Issue 17 Out Tomorrow!

The way we perceive the world is inevitably shaped by the models created in our brains. As a species, we have evolved to understand the world in such a way as to maximise our survival chances out on the African savannah plains of the Pleistocene and this has inevitably had consequences in defining that which […]

Deep voices and shallow personalities

Why is it that Barry White is seen as a quivering mass of concentrated sexiness, yet poor Joe Pasquale is resigned to the shallow end of the genetic swimming pool? Well, new research, published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, has shown that men with deep and manly voices are more likely to be judged as […]

Puppy love

Warning: this post contains scenes of extreme cuteness and adorability. Reader discretion is advised. Scientists have, for the first time, proved systematically that tiny little kittens and puppies are actually cute. It sounds incredibly obvious; even the coldest, stony-hearted grinches out there will melt at the sight of a baby animal looking up at them. […]

Judging a book by its sexy cover

Have you ever noticed how beautiful people always seem to be the most popular as well? I’m sure you have, from whatever part of the high school pecking order you happened to find yourself in. Not that it will make the lower echelons of humanity feel any better, but there might be a scientifically sound […]

Unpopularity contest

To the consternation of all downtrodden geeks, dweebs, sissies, melvins, Imperial students and nerds out there, those bullies who made your schooldays less than pleasant were probably more popular than you were. Research from the American Sociological Review has shown that, far from being thuggish, sociopathic bastards, they actually have an intricate network of friends. […]

Power napping your way to the top

It wouldn’t be unfair to say that many, if not all, of my business ideas lack any real possibility of becoming a reality. However, earlier this week scientists from Germany and Switzerland have seemingly issued support for my latest get-rich-quick scheme, unbeknownst to them. I am a napper. During periods of intense exam preparation I […]

Humans = Lemmings?

We may have the technological solutions to help fight environmental change and create a sustainable society, but do we have the right psychology? Anna Perman investigates Aren’t humans clever? We have colonised every corner of the world, and created a global community. It is the large and magnificently organised human brain which has enabled us […]