October 15th, 2007

Human Behavior

Chimps Act like Humans


People often strangely consider something more valuable once they own it. Now scientists find this same apparently irrational behavior in chimps, a finding that could help shed light on the human mind.


For decades, researchers have puzzled over the fact that people often consider an item more valuable when it's theirs compared to how valuable they felt it was before they owned it. For instance, when college students were offered either a coffee mug or a chocolate bar, they had no strong preference for either.

However, when they were randomly given either the mugs or the chocolate, they strongly preferred keeping their new gifts to exchanging them for the other.


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Fearful Expression

Brain Fast to Recognize Fearful Faces


People recognize a fearful expression faster than any other, possibly for evolutionary survival reasons.


Researchers at Vanderbilt University set out to test how quickly people become aware of fearful, neutral and happy expressions. Because human brains can process facial expressions with astonishing speed—in fewer than 40 milliseconds—the psychologists devised a way to slow down this recognition speed so that it would be measurable.


Study subjects looked at a screen through a viewer (similar to the eyepiece of a microscope) which allowed different images to be presented to each eye. Multiple flashing images were presented to one eye, while a static image of a face was shown to the other. The flashing images acted like visual "noise" to suppress the image of the face.

The subjects indicated when they first became aware of seeing a face, and it turns out they became aware of faces with fearful expressions faster than those with neutral or happy ones.

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Joke of the Day

"You wouldn't sleep with Angelina Jolie for a million dollars, would you?", asked the cuddling wife. "Don't be ridiculous", said the husband. "How am I gonna raise a million dollars?"


Fertile Strippers Make More Money

Scientists at the
University of New Mexico say exotic dancers earn the best tips just before ovulating.

According to a story published this month in Psychology Today, UNM psychologist Geoffrey Miller and his colleagues "tapped the talent at local gentlemen's clubs" and counted the tips they made during various phases of their menstrual cycles.


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Person of the Week

Gerhard Ertl 

German Gerhard Ertl won the Nobel Prize for chemistry on his 71st birthday on Wednesday for inventing ways to watch chemicals react on a surface, helping in the development of cleaner cars and better fertilizers.


"Knowledge about chemical reactions on surfaces will also help us produce renewable fuels more efficiently and create new materials for electronics," the academy said in a statement.

MILF of the Week

Courteney Cox!