Learning! Roundup: Pollution, Placebos, Evolutionary Psychology, and Ageing

A roundup of research including the effects of pollution, placebos, and gender roles.
Photo by Malcolm Lightbody.

Pollution

More on how the world is NOT fair and is definitely set up to benefit some people and hurt others: ethnic minorities produce less pollution, but are exposed to more.

The Placebo Effect

The placebo effect is one of my absolute FAVOURITE psychological phenomena! It is so cool! The fact that we can physically heal just because our brains think we have done something to promote healing??? WHAT??? I love it. In recent years there has been a bunch of research to test the limits of the placebo effect, and some pretty wild things have been discovered, including the fact that a placebo can work even if you know it's a placebo.

Evolutionary Psychology Gets a Boost

Sometimes, scientific results make me grumble. Like the fact that a new international study just showed that men do typically prioritize looks in finding a mate while women tend to look for earning potential instead, and that this difference is not explained by the gender inequality of the country these people live in. Of course, this doesn't prove that women "naturally" care more about money and men "naturally" care more about looks, but it does cast doubt on the explanation that women have to seek financially stable partners when they aren't given economic opportunity on their own.

Ageing Awareness

As we age, we become less sensitive to other people's anger, but remain sensitive to their happiness. That's kind of nice, actually.

Alzheimer's Eye Tests

Soon it may be possible to identify Alzheimer's in someone just by looking at their eyeballs! This is because the retina thins and contains less small blood vessels as the disease takes hold.


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