Ice cold, hard and emotionless. Such is the psychopath – we think. Until we get a glimpse behind the mask. Researchers have for decades been almost unanimous in their accord with the popular perception that psychopaths are made in a certain way, and will forever remain that way.
Images of prisoners’ brains show important differences between those who are diagnosed as psychopaths and those who aren’t, according to a new study led by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers. The results could help explain the callous and impulsive anti-social behavior exhibited by some psychopaths.
When it comes to rearing children, just about any parent will say that what works with one kid might not work with another. Parents use all sorts of strategies to keep kids from being cranky, grumpy, fearful or moody, while encouraging them to be independent and well-adjusted. But which parenting styles work best with which kids? A study by University of Washington psychologists provides advice about tailoring parenting to children’s personalities.
University of Missouri researchers have found evidence that shows those who quit smoking show improvements in their overall personality. “The data indicate that for some young adults smoking is impulsive,” said Andrew Littlefield, a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Science. “That means that 18-year-olds are acting without a lot of forethought and favor immediate rewards over long term negative consequences. They might say, ‘I know smoking is bad for me, but I’m going to do it anyway.’
People with sexual performance anxiety are more likely to cheat on their partners. That is just one of the curious findings of a new study by a University of Guelph professor on the factors that predict infidelity. Men who are risk-takers or easily sexually aroused are also more likely to wander; for women, relationship issues are stronger predictors of unfaithfulness.
Self-esteem increases during adolescence, then slows in young adulthood, but contrary to popular belief, there is no significant difference between men’s and women’s self-esteem during either of those life phases, according to research published by the American Psychological Association. The publisher made the full-text study available for an unknown length of time; check the end of this report for a download link.
People with personality traits of high neuroticism and low conscientiousness are likely to go through cycles of gaining and losing weight throughout their lives, according to an examination of 50 years of data in a study published by the American Psychological Association. The publisher made the original study available for free for an undetermined length of time; check the end of this report for a download link.
Is your kid a “dove” – cautious and submissive when confronting new environments, or perhaps you have a “hawk” – bold and assertive in unfamiliar settings? These basic temperamental patterns are linked to opposite hormonal responses to stress – differences that may provide children with advantages for navigating threatening environments, researchers report in a study published online July 8, 2011, in Development and Psychopathology.