In 2014, stories appeared in national and international media claiming that the condition of “selfitis” (the obsessive taking of selfies) was to be classed as a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association and that the condition could be borderline, acute, or chronic. However, the stories were a hoax but this did not stop empirical research being carried out into the concept. The present study empirically explored the concept and collected data on the existence of selfitis with respect to the three alleged levels (borderline, acute, and chronic) and developed the Selfitis Behavior Scale (SBS). [International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction]
we show that incidental exposure to fishy smells is sufficient to undermine cooperation in economic trust and public good games [PDF]
What happens when we unexpectedly see an attractive potential partner? Previous studies in laboratorial settings suggest that the visualization of attractive and unattractive photographs influences time. The major aim of this research is to study time perception and attraction in a realistic social scenario, by investigating if changes in subjective time measured during a speed dating are associated with attraction. […] When there is a perception of the partner as being physically more attractive, women tend to overestimate the duration of that meeting, whereas men tend to underestimate its duration. [University of Minho]
This study utilized a sample population of married individuals specifically seeking extramarital sexual encounters (n = 1070) and investigated those factors which influence the individual’s overall perception of life satisfaction before, during, and after their affairs. Findings indicate that while affairs do tend to make respondents happy, a number of factors influence perception of life satisfaction during an affair, including a belief that an outside partner is required to remain in a primary partnership, a desire to remain in the primary partnership, at least biweekly sexual events with the outside partner, a belief that the individual loves their outside partner, and seeking out the partnership due to sexual dissatisfaction within the primary partnership. There was also a gender effect. A surprising finding was that even after the outside partnership ends, respondents reported a higher life satisfaction rating than before the outside partnership. [Sexuality & Culture]
Postcoital Dysphoria (PCD) is a counter-intuitive phenomenon characterized by inexplicable feelings of tearfulness, sadness, or irritability following otherwise satisfactory consensual sexual activity. Prevalence of PCD has been reported among females, but not among males. […] The present study utilized an anonymous online questionnaire to examine the prevalence and correlates of PCD amongst an international sample including 1,208 male participants. Forty one percent reported experiencing PCD in their lifetime and 20% reported experiencing PCD in the previous four weeks. Between 3-4% of the sample reported experiencing PCD on a regular basis. [Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy]
Women differ greatly from one another in terms of their tendency and capacity to experience orgasms. The improvements in gender equality and sexual education since the 1970s have not helped women to become more orgasmic. Neither has the major increase in masturbation habits (among women in general). One challenge for future studies is to understand why women value their partner’s orgasms more than their own. [Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology]
The association between alcohol intake and male reproductive function is still controversial. […] we performed a cross‐sectional analysis of semen quality. […] Moderate alcohol intake appears positively associated to semen quality in male partners of infertile couples undergoing assisted reproductive techniques. [Andrology]
The Cynical Genius Illusion. Competent individuals held contingent attitudes and endorsed cynicism only if it was warranted in a given sociocultural environment. Less competent individuals embraced cynicism unconditionally, suggesting that — at low levels of competence — holding a cynical worldview might represent an adaptive default strategy to avoid the potential costs of falling prey to others’ cunning. [Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin]
Two theoretical frameworks have been proposed to account for the representation of truth and falsity in human memory: the Cartesian model and the Spinozan model. Both models presume that during information processing a mental representation of the information is stored along with a tag indicating its truth value. However, the two models disagree on the nature of these tags. According to the Cartesian model, true information receives a “true” tag and false information receives a “false” tag. In contrast, the Spinozan model claims that only false information receives a “false” tag, whereas untagged information is automatically accepted as true. […] The results of both experiments clearly contradict the Spinozan model but can be explained in terms of the Cartesian model. [Memory & Cognition | PDF]
The more intelligent a person, the fewer connections there are between the neurons in his cerebral cortex. These findings sound paradoxical at first glance, but they do reconcile previously conflicting results.
Statements that were repeated were more likely to be considered true compared to new statements [PDF]
While we have come to expect bullshit from politicians, there is no shortage of judicial bullshit either. After discussing Harry Frankfurt’s famous description of bullshit, I illustrate possible instances of judicial bullshit in a wide range of bioethics cases, mostly at the Supreme Court. Along the way, we see judges bullshit for many reasons including the desire to keep precedents malleable, avoid line drawing, hide the arbitrariness of line drawing, sound important, be memorable, gloss over inconvenient facts, sound poetic, make it seem like their hands are tied, and appear to address profound questions without actually staking out provocative positions. [Arizona State Law Journal]
What Cyber-War Will Look Like The hacking campaigns I envision would be low-key, localized, and fairly low-tech.
How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions Jerome Jacobson and his network of mobsters, psychics, strip club owners, and drug traffickers won almost every prize for 12 years, until the FBI launched Operation ‘Final Answer.’
The ATM-busting technique, known as jackpotting, has been around for almost a decade […] ATM jackpotting is both riskier and more complicated than card-skimming. For starters, scammers have to hack into the computer that governs the cash dispenser, which usually involves physically breaking into the machine itself; once they’re in, they install malware that tells the ATM to release all of its cash, just like a jackpot at a slot machine. These obstacles mean the process takes quite a bit longer than installing a card skimmer, which means more time in front of the ATM’s security cameras and jackpotters triggering an alarm in the bank’s control center at every step. But as chip-and-PIN becomes the standard in the U.S., would-be ATM thieves are running out of other options. […] It was the Secret Service’s financial crimes division that spotted the series of attacks on multiple locations of the same bank in Florida in December and January, and put out a bulletin to financial institutions, law enforcement, and the public about the new style of ATM theft. The two major global ATM manufacturers, Diebold Nixdorfand NCR, also alerted the public and issued security patches within a few days. Banks started monitoring their ATMs around the clock. Less than 24 hours after the Secret Service’s public alert, Citizens Financial Group, a regional bank with branches all over the northeast, notified the local police that its security folks noticed one of its ATMs go off line. The police contacted the Secret Service, which made its first arrest on the scene. [Bloomberg]
More than 700 hives, valued at as much as a million dollars, went missing in a single night. How to Steal 50 Million Bees
Every year, millions of tonnes of plastic debris ends up in the sea […] Where does all the plastic come from anyhow? And how does it get into the sea? […] Researchers calculated that ten rivers (eight in Asia and two in Africa) are responsible for around 90 percent of the global input of plastic into the sea. [Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research]
Scores of long-buried archaeological sites have been revealed once again as ‘cropmarks’, or patterns of growth in ripening crops and parched grasslands More: Europe’s scorching weather has revealed a mysterious henge
Progress in artificial intelligence makes the technology increasingly relevant to military applications. In particular, autonomous weapons could be of great military use. And: U.S. military is actively developing deadly uncontrolled drone swarms. Previously: MICRO DRONES KILLER ARMS ROBOTS
The first lawsuit was filed by asset management executive Steven Tananbaum, who alleged that Koons and the gallery failed to deliver three monumental sculptures, even after he paid millions of dollars for them.
In 1978 a series of small mistakes created some characters out of nothing. The errors went undiscovered just long enough to be set in stone, and now these ghosts are, at least in potential, a part of every computer on the planet