Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Managing editor at RawStory and founder of PsyPost. Send tips to eric@rawstory.comSource
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Study: Heightened susceptibility to misinformation linked to reduced mask wearing and social distancing

Study: Heightened susceptibility to misinformation linked to reduced mask wearing and social distancing

People with a poor understanding of quantitative information are more likely to endorse myths about COVID-19 and those who believe such misinformation are less likely to follow public health guidance such as wearing a mask in public, according to new research. The study appears in the journal .“Misinformation has been one of the major focal points of our research since early 2018. Misinformation about COVID-19 has rapidly become a significant problem, with the WHO declaring an ‘infodemic’ and people setting fire to mobile phone masts because of conspiracies surrounding 5G networks,” said...

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Eric W. Dolan
2d ago
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Awe-inspiring psychedelic trips reduce narcissism by boosting connectedness and empathy, study suggests

Awe-inspiring psychedelic trips reduce narcissism by boosting connectedness and empathy, study suggests

New research suggests that feelings of awe from psychedelic drugs can positively affect narcissistic personality traits. The study, published in the journal , found that psychedelic-occasioned experiences of awe are linked to increased feelings of connectedness and empathy, which in turn is related to decreased levels of exploitative-entitled narcissism.Previous research has indicated that psychedelic substances can enhance feelings of social connectedness and improve mental well-being. The authors of the new study were interested in whether these effects could have an impact on...

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Eric W. Dolan
4d ago
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Earlier pubertal timing predicts higher psychosexuality in adulthood

Earlier pubertal timing predicts higher psychosexuality in adulthood

New research from Penn State’s provides evidence that pubertal timing is associated with psychosexuality in men and women. The findings have been published in the journal .“We are interested in how sex hormones influence the development of the brain and behavior,” said study authors and David Puts, a PhD candidate and associate professor, respectively.“There is growing evidence that sex hormones have permanent effects on the brain and on psychological traits during least two windows in development — the first is during gestation and right after birth, and the second is during puberty....

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Eric W. Dolan
7d ago
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Belief in chloroquine’s effectiveness is linked to reduced willingness to receive COVID-19 vaccine, study finds

Belief in chloroquine’s effectiveness is linked to reduced willingness to receive COVID-19 vaccine, study finds

People who believe that the antimalarial drug chloroquine is an effective remedy against COVID-19 are less likely to say they will receive a vaccination for the virus when one is available, according to new research published in .The new study indicates that various conspiracy theories about COVID-19 are associated with a reduced willingness to vaccinate.The lead author of the study, (), is a PhD student at the Université Côte d’Azur in France who has been studying conspiracy theories and their relations to group identities.“When the COVID-19 pandemic became a major issue in France and in...

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Eric W. Dolan
Oct 12
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Trump support is less important than ethnic antagonism in explaining anti-democratic views among Republicans

Trump support is less important than ethnic antagonism in explaining anti-democratic views among Republicans

New research provides evidence that ethnic antagonism has a substantial negative effect on Republicans’ commitment to democracy.The study, published in the , indicates that perceptions that minorities have taken more than their fair share of political power and government resources are more strongly linked to anti-democratic sentiments than other factors, such as sociodemographic variables and support for President Donald Trump.“All through the 2016 campaign, the folks at the New York Times seemed to think that if they just ran one more 5,000-word story calling out Donald Trump for...

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Eric W. Dolan
Oct 10
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Women's dreams have been more strongly affected by the coronavirus pandemic than men's

Women's dreams have been more strongly affected by the coronavirus pandemic than men's

Women’s dreams have been more negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic than men’s dreams, according to a new international study published in the journal .“I have studied other dreams from periods of crisis: Americans after 9/11, Kuwaitis after the Iraqi occupation, and dreams from a Nazi POW camp. So as soon as the pandemic began, I was interested to see how these dreams would be similar to other crises and any distinctive elements they might have,” said study author , an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and author of “.”In an online survey conducted between March 23 and...

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Eric W. Dolan
Oct 10
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New psychology study suggests intellectual humility has important sociopolitical consequences

New psychology study suggests intellectual humility has important sociopolitical consequences

A new study provides evidence that intellectual humility is related to how people perceive their political opponents. The research, published in the Journal of Personality, indicates that Americans who are humble about their level of knowledge are less likely to view people who disagree with them as morally or intellectually inferior.“Social media and news media have made it clear that so much of American politics is personal and vitriolic. Many people seem to assume that those on the other side are unintelligent and morally corrupt,” said study author Matthew L. Stanley, a PhD candidate at...

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Eric W. Dolan
Oct 9
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Trust in COVID-19 information from U.S. government sources plummeted between March and April, study finds

Trust in COVID-19 information from U.S. government sources plummeted between March and April, study finds

New research indicates there was a steep decline in trust of COVID-19 information provided by U.S. government sources between March and April, during the initial stages of the coronavirus outbreak. The study has been accepted for publication in the journal .“Our interest in this topic stemmed from some concerns, particularly back in March and April, that COVID-19 misinformation was increasingly being spread across a variety of different platforms, and that people were becoming more and more skeptical and untrustworthy of much of the information they were receiving,” said study authors...

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Eric W. Dolan
Sep 27
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Study suggests psychopathy reduces social distancing behavior partially via moral disengagement

Study suggests psychopathy reduces social distancing behavior partially via moral disengagement

Moral disengagement, a cognitive mechanism that allows someone to ignore their own sense of moral accountability, might help explain why those with “dark” personality traits are more likely to ignore social distancing guidelines meant to slow the spread of COVID-19.New research, published in , found that the dark triad of narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism were all linked to moral disengagement, which in turn was linked to reduced social distancing behavior amid the coronavirus pandemic.“We were trying to offer concrete help to manage the situation. The most important thing to do...

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Eric W. Dolan
Oct 6
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Depressed individuals exhibit blunted attentional processing of both positive and negative emotional stimuli, study finds

Depressed individuals exhibit blunted attentional processing of both positive and negative emotional stimuli, study finds

Depressed individuals do not display an information-processing bias towards negative emotional stimuli, according to new research published in the . Instead, they appear to have blunted attention to both positive and negative emotional stimuli compared to neutral stimuli.“Depression is a complex illness that affects multiple aspects of an individual’s life. Depression is characterised by a ‘negative triad’: a negative view of the self (low self-esteem), a negative view of the world and a negative view of the future (hopelessness),” said study author , a senior lecturer in cognitive...

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Eric W. Dolan
Oct 6
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Democratic criticism of COVID-19 models -- but not Republican criticism -- erodes public trust in science

Democratic criticism of COVID-19 models -- but not Republican criticism -- erodes public trust in science

Republican criticism of epidemiological models of the spread and impact of COVID-19 do not appear to have much effect on the public’s trust in science and support for science-based policy, according to a new study published in . But this is not the case for Democratic criticism.The difference could come down to the public’s expectations: Republicans who criticize COVID-19 models are seen as acting in alignment with their party, while Democrats who do so appear to be less ideologically motivated because they are bucking their party.“The COVID-19 pandemic thrust scientific research into an...

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Eric W. Dolan
Oct 6
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Trump voters were significantly less likely to evacuate before Hurricane Irma devastated Florida

Trump voters were significantly less likely to evacuate before Hurricane Irma devastated Florida

Floridians who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 were less likely than those who voted for Hillary Clinton to have evacuated before Hurricane Irma made landfall, according to a new study that examined GPS location data from more than 2.7 million U.S. smartphone users. The research was published in the journal .As Hurricane Irma approached Florida in 2017, conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh questioned the severity of the category 5 storm, suggesting that media outlets were trying to create “fear and panic” to push a “climate change agenda.” Shortly afterward, conservative pundit...

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Eric W. Dolan
Oct 3
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Introverts faring worse than extraverts emotionally and psychologically amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Introverts faring worse than extraverts emotionally and psychologically amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Contrary to popular belief, the psychological impacts of social distancing and lockdown measures are hitting introverted individuals harder than their extraverts counterparts, according to new research published in .The study suggests that personality dispositions can play an important role in how people cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and containment measures.“I was motivated to conduct this research in light of the wave of internet content being circulated depicting how introverts and extraverts are responding to lockdown and social distancing measures imposed as a result of the COVID-19...

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Eric W. Dolan
Oct 2
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New study suggests there are neurobiological constraints on women's sexual fluidity

New study suggests there are neurobiological constraints on women's sexual fluidity

Women are more likely than men to report flexibility in their sexual attractions and desires. But even sexually fluid women display distinct neural responses to sexual imagery based on their self-identified orientation, according to new brain imaging research.The study, published in , indicates that differences in visual and attentional processing, which cannot be voluntarily altered, guide how women sexually respond to erotic content featuring men and women.“Both in our society and scientifically, we have much to learn about sexuality,” said Janna Dickenson, an assistant teaching professor...

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Eric W. Dolan
Sep 28
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Caffeine can help sustain attention over long periods of time, according to new experimental research

Caffeine can help sustain attention over long periods of time, according to new experimental research

New research published in has found that caffeine can help adolescents pay attention for longer periods of time. Though it is commonly assumed that caffeine enhances vigilance in such a manner, until now experimental evidence had been lacking or inconclusive.“I have often used caffeine, particularly coffee or energy gum, to keep alertness during long class periods, meetings, and car drives, and many of my colleagues and friends also use caffeine to remain mentally sharp,” said study author Robert Cooper, a PhD candidate at the University at Buffalo.“After reviewing the literature on...

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Eric W. Dolan
Sep 15
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Segregated communities of polarized Twitter users are shaping online conversations about COVID-19

Segregated communities of polarized Twitter users are shaping online conversations about COVID-19

An analysis of millions of tweets sent during the early stages of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the United States suggests that polarized discussions on Twitter have increasingly politicized the issue of COVID‐19.The study found that right-leaning Twitter users display an aversion to hashtags related to COVID-19 prevention, while left-leaning users “are overly critical” of the federal administration.The findings have been published in .“COVID-19 had a dramatic impact on people’s lives but differently so across different U.S. states. From social to economic policies, to public health...

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Eric W. Dolan
Sep 24
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Study indicates that Americans respond to COVID-19 differently based on their socioeconomic and demographic status

Study indicates that Americans respond to COVID-19 differently based on their socioeconomic and demographic status

Social distancing and mask wearing is extremely common in the United States. But younger people, white people, men, and those with lower incomes are less likely than their counterparts to engage in measures that mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), according to new research published in the .“In a situation like the current pandemic, where you have no vaccine and the virus is spreading quickly, the health behaviors of the public become your greatest asset in both controlling the spread of COVID-19 and protecting...

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Eric W. Dolan
Sep 19
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New research suggests the conversion of testosterone to estrogen in the brain is crucial for male sexual desire

New research suggests the conversion of testosterone to estrogen in the brain is crucial for male sexual desire

Scientists have uncovered an enzyme that appears to play a key role in regulating sexual behavior in males. Their new research, published in the journal , found that selectively disrupting the enzyme aromatase in the brains of male mice led to a sharp decrease in sexual behavior.“Over the past 30 years, we have been interested in various roles of aromatase, the enzyme that produces estrogen from testosterone locally in a number of body sites including the brain,” explained , the chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern...

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Eric W. Dolan
Sep 23
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New psychology study links sleep problems in childhood to psychosis and borderline personality disorder in adolescence

New psychology study links sleep problems in childhood to psychosis and borderline personality disorder in adolescence

New research provides evidence that sleep problems in early childhood are associated with psychosis and borderline personality disorder in adolescence. The findings, published in , indicate that different sleep problems are associated with different psychopathological symptoms.“Until recently, sleep had not been considered an important factor in the development of mental health problems, but as an isolated factor. However, there is currently growing evidence suggesting the important role of sleep in the development of some specific mental disorders,” said lead researcher Isabel...

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Eric W. Dolan
Sep 13
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Study finds fame-seeking mass shooters tend to receive more media attention

Study finds fame-seeking mass shooters tend to receive more media attention

New research provides evidence that mass shooters who are seeking notoriety tend to receive more media coverage than their non-fame-seeking counterparts. The study has been published in the journal .“The media has been providing sensational coverage to mass shooters for decades, and only recently has the general public become aware of the ramifications of this attention,” said study author (), an assistant professor at William Paterson University.The researchers scoured through a variety of datasets to compile information on mass shootings in the United States between 1966 and 2018. Police...

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Eric W. Dolan
Sep 10
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Psychedelic experiences share many features with those described by mystics and religious practitioners

Psychedelic experiences share many features with those described by mystics and religious practitioners

Scientists in Finland are taking a closer look the relationship between psychedelic substances and mystical experiences. In new research published in s, researchers show that a Finnish version of a common assessment of subjective psychedelic effects can accurately capture individuals’ experiences.“Studies with both clinical populations and healthy volunteers, as well as population-based research, suggest that some people experience positive changes in well-being and relationships after using psychedelics,” said study author , a postdoctoral researcher at Tampere University.“Undergoing...

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Eric W. Dolan
Sep 5
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Study sheds light on how online news algorithms can skew your picture of reality

Study sheds light on how online news algorithms can skew your picture of reality

A news aggregation app is viewed more favorably when it offers politically personalized content to users, but this personalization might reduce attention to high-quality mainstream sources, according to new research from Louisiana State University. The findings were published in .“This study was part of a larger news portal experiment where we manipulated the availability of different types of news content, as well as some interface features of the news website. The effects that we looked at were both attitudinal (whether people think of issues, politicians, and news organizations...

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Eric W. Dolan
Sep 7
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Anxious and extraverted: Study finds many people with social anxiety don't fit the "shy" stereotype

Anxious and extraverted: Study finds many people with social anxiety don't fit the "shy" stereotype

Those with social anxiety tend to be shyer and more reserved compared to their counterparts. But new research indicates that this general trend has a notable exception. The study, published in , suggests there may be a significant number of “anxious extraverts.”“Social anxiety disorder is a common, but also a heterogeneous, condition. Social anxiety can come in many different forms and it can be described in a myriad of ways. For example, it is intertwined with shyness, but some individuals with the disorder may be highly anxious without being particularly shy,” said Tomas Furmark, a...

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Eric W. Dolan
Sep 5
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New study indicates the COVID-19 outbreak has boosted support for right-wing authoritarianism

New study indicates the COVID-19 outbreak has boosted support for right-wing authoritarianism

New research from Poland provides evidence that the outbreak of COVID-19 is linked to an increased acceptance of authoritarianism. The study indicates that this rise in authoritarian attitudes, in turn, is associated with increased prejudice towards those who deviate from traditional sexual norms.The study appears in the journal .On March 11th, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic and shortly afterward Poland imposed lockdown measures to slow the spread of the virus.“We were conducting a large opinion survey initially to test a different hypothesis, which...

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Eric W. Dolan
Sep 8
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People judge others to be more able to change their beliefs than they themselves are

People judge others to be more able to change their beliefs than they themselves are

Individuals tend to view themselves as less capable than other people of voluntarily changing their beliefs, according to new research published in the .“Psychologist and philosophers have long thought that our beliefs are not under our direct control — that we can influence what we believe to some extent, but we cannot pick and choose what we believe,” said study author , a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University.“These scholars usually made these claims based on introspection, by looking inward and reporting how they felt when they tried to change their beliefs. Some...

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Eric W. Dolan
Aug 16
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