Many parents often allow preschoolers to win games in an attempt to boost their confidence and avoid temper tantrums. However, this strategy may undermine their children’s judgment, according to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. The study’s authors say illusory wins can cause children to ignore important information, which might impede their ability to make good decisions.
To arrive at this conclusion, scientists asked children ages 4-5 to find hidden objects. In one trial, an experimenter gave accurate clues. In another, the experimenter gave inaccurate information. The researchers then adjusted the game so half of the children found the object, regardless of where they looked or whether the clues they received were accurate. The remaining children’s success was determined by whether their clue-giver had given accurate information.
At the end of the game, the researchers asked children whether they would rather receive clues from the person who gave accurate information or inaccurate information. As predicted, the children who played the rigged game showed no preference, and they did not realize the accurate clue giver had been helpful.
A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry has found that women who underwent elective abortions in the United States were not more likely to suffer ill effects than women who were denied abortions because their pregnancies were too far along. Those whose abortion requests were denied experienced short-term distress that lasted either until they were able to undergo an abortion elsewhere or until they delivered the baby. After that point, there was so significant difference in mental health between women who received abortions and women who were initially turned away. This echoes previous findings declaring little to no evidence for any type of post-abortion trauma for women who have elected to have an abortion in the United States.
Teenagers may mistakenly believe cigars are safer than other tobacco products. A new phone survey polled teenagers and found they generally believed cigar warning labels. However, specific cigar warnings varied in believability. More than three quarters of participants believed cigars can cause lung cancer and heart disease, about 53% believed cigars can cause cancer even without inhaling, and less than 50% believed cigars are not a safe alternative to cigarettes.
Traumatic memories can cause long-term psychological pain. The brain may employ strategies for minimizing the pain of traumatic events, including dissociation. When the brain dissociates, it detaches from reality, reducing a person’s connection to their memories or identity. Trauma survivors may not fully recall their traumatic experiences. Rarely, they may block the memories completely.
Some research suggests deep brain stimulation (DBS) might improve symptoms of Parkinson’s and some mental health conditions. Contrary to some speculation that DBS might also be used to improve memory for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia, a new study showed DBS failed to improve memory. Instead, it might harm or impair memory.
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