For our next installment of Facebook-related research, we present a study of “Likes”, in which the researchers investigated what that thumbs-up button can predict about a person. It turns out that a lot can be predicted from our Likes, from intelligence (which, for some reason, is correlated with Liking thunderstorms and curly fries) to sexuality (homosexuals Like “Wicked the musical”). Just something to think about before you Like the group “Walking With Your Friend & Randomly Pushing Them Into Someone/Something”–which, according to Table S1, is associated with having few friends.
Private traits and attributes are predictable from digital records of human behavior
“We show that easily accessible digital records of behavior, Facebook Likes, can be used to automatically and accurately predict a range of highly sensitive personal attributes including: sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious and political views, personality traits, intelligence, happiness, use of addictive substances, parental separation, age, and gender. Read More
“Chemosensory active volatile organic compounds occur in the breathing air at many workplaces and it has been assumed that they are potent to impair workers’ cognitive performance; however, the nature of this relationship is not understood. In the current study we investigated whether the combination of strong chemosensory potency and unpleasant odor valence is a sufficient predictor for the appearance of neurobehavioral impairment. Read More
“BACKGROUND: Previous studies have shown increases in experimental pain during induction of a negative emotion with visual stimuli, verbal statements or unpleasant odours. The goal of the present study was to analyse the spatio-temporal activation patterns underlying pain augmentation during negative emotional sounds. Read More
“Our natural body odor goes through several stages of age-dependent changes in chemical composition as we grow older. Similar changes have been reported for several animal species and are thought to facilitate age discrimination of an individual based on body odors, alone. We sought to determine whether humans are able to discriminate between body odor of humans of different ages. Body odors were sampled from three distinct age groups: Young (20–30 years old), Middle-age (45–55), and Old-age (75–95) individuals. Perceptual ratings and age discrimination performance were assessed in 41 young participants. Read More
“STUDY OBJECTIVES: Sleep loss consistently impairs performance on measures of alertness, vigilance, and response speed, but its effects on higher-order executive functions are not well delineated. Similarly, whereas deficits in arousal and vigilance can be temporarily countered by the use of several different stimulant medications, it is not clear how these compounds affect complex cognitive processes in sleep-deprived individuals. DESIGN: We evaluated the effects of double-blind administration of 3 stimulant medications or placebo on the ability to appreciate humor in visual (cartoons) or verbal (headlines) stimuli presented on a computer screen following 49.5 hours of sleep deprivation. Read More
“Self-objectification theory posits and past research has found that Caucasian women’s body image is negatively affected by a stigma of obesity and sociocultural norm of thinness that leads women to self-focus from a critical external perspective. However, research in this area is limited by its methodology and the restricted demographic composition of its study participants. Read More
“After a pilot study (2 subjects, 19 nights) we tested two different subjects during 57 nights, administering sonic booms (1 mb, 300 ms; sound level of sonic boom in the bedroom 80-85 dB (A) and recording EEG and peripheral blood volume. After 7 nights without noise, 30 nights with either 2 or 4 sonic booms (alternately) were applied. Read More
The effect of humor on memory: constrained by the pun.
“In a series of experiments, we investigated the effect of pun humor on memory. In all experiments, the participants were exposed to knock-knock jokes in either the original form retaining the pun or in a modified form that removed the pun. Read More
Human fine body hair enhances ectoparasite detection
“Although we are relatively naked in comparison with other primates, the human body is covered in a layer of fine hair (vellus and terminal hair) at a relatively high follicular density. There are relatively few explanations for the evolutionary maintenance of this type of human hair. Here, we experimentally test the hypothesis that human fine body hair plays a defensive function against ectoparasites (bed bugs). Read More
“Although learned actions can be automatically elicited in response to expected stimuli for which they have been prepared, little is known about whether learned actions can be automatically initiated by unexpected stimuli. Responses of unwitting participants to balls unexpectedly thrown by an experimenter (n=10) or propelled by a hidden ball cannon (n=22) were recorded by motion capture. Read More