Handy Insight into Distorted Body Image

Does my bum look big in this? Well, it depends on your perspective, says Julie Gould The way in which others see you is, more often than not, entirely different from the way you see yourself. Self-perception is largely dependent on your state of mind and how you compare yourself with others. Tabloids and magazines […]

Are You a Social Network Junkie?

Things are all atwitter in the social networking sphere after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg took the risky decision to float a proportion of shares for the site last week. Although this may not have been as successful as planned, social networking sites are constantly accessible, incredibly popular and seem to be unavoidable. Following revelations earlier […]

Remote Control Brains

Mind control is an unsettling prospect. Its psychology is far less obfuscated than its biology, which is fantastic for advertising companies and frustrating for scientists. Brains contribute about 2% of our body weight and require 20% of its energy requirement. We recognise early that brains are the seat of our humanity, autonomy and ‘self’ and […]

Grunt, Set and Match

Today we will see Maria Sharapova finally step back onto centre court for the Wimbledon Ladies Final. Undeniably a pleasure to watch, the annoyingly loud ‘grunts’ that Sharapova is now famous for are much less pleasing on the ears. Reaching levels of up to 100db, Sharapova’s exhalations can be distracting for both viewer and her […]

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 […]

Behind the condition: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a debilitating condition affecting millions everyday. It is estimated that, in the UK, 2% of people aged between 18 and 56 suffer from some form of obsessive compulsive behaviour. Despite this widespread occurrence, however, there is much we do not know about the condition. Historically, OCD has been dismissed as having […]

Diversity over ability: how to pick the perfect pub quiz team

‘Swarm intelligence’ refers to how grouping can help solve cognitive problems and a study published in Animal Behaviour this week examined how this works in humans. Most companies work on the assumption that employing the strongest individuals will produce the best team, but theoretical studies have started to question this. One model has predicted that […]

Pendulum Waves

If you’re reading this right now, you are most likely procrastinating, arent you? Don’t worry, I wont judge. Your brain is probably feeling very overworked, but you might also be feeling guilty that you’re not doing anything productive. So, here’s a video that has all the semblances of work – its got maths, and harmonics, […]

Beauty isn’t in the eye of the beholder, it’s in the eye

Yes, maybe it’s true that there are differing opinions on who we think of as attractive. Indeed, some people think Simon Cowell is good looking. Still cant get my head around that one,  but I digress. Yes, people have their own personal prefernces – blonde or brunette, brainy or brawny, etc.  However, numerous studies have […]

Grasping for attention

Collectors come in all shapes and sizes. Some are relatively tame, such as the humble stamp collectors and comic book hunters. Others are harder to understand. For example, Michael Lewis has a handsome collection of Moist Towelettes. Sergei Frolov has over 150 Soviet Calculators. Most bizarrely though, for 27 years Graham Barker has been scouring […]

Go on then…just one more!

There are those among us, myself included, who explain away their inability to say no to one more drink or one more packet of biscuits by proclaiming that they have an ‘addictive personality’ which somehow makes their lack of self control socially acceptable. Despite using this excuse many times myself, deep down I thought this […]

Down in the dumps

If you men out there have just broken up with your girlfriend, you will probably hear the platitude “time is the greatest healer”. Given enough time you will be able to forget that old flame and move on to someone better. Science has, unfortunately, shown this to be nothing but empty words. According to the Journal […]

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 […]