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Psychology News in 2012

Some of the Top Stories of the Year

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It was a big year in the world of psychology, from new evidence suggesting that John B. Watson misrepresented his famous Little Albert experiment to the latest news about stress in America, we covered a number of fascinating stories in 2012. Learn more about some of the psychology news and researcher than happened over the course of the year.

Google Science Fair 2012

Google Science Fair
January 16, 2012 - Google once again hosted their annual science fair open to students between the ages of 13 and 18. Students were asked to submit projects in a range of categories, including behavioral and social sciences, computer science and mathematics, biology, and physics.

Researchers Uncover New Evidence About Little Albert

Little Albert
January 20, 2012 – The Little Albert experiment is one of the most famous in psychology history, but in January researchers published new evidence that psychologist John B. Watson may have intentionally misrepresented his research. Researchers discovered that the infant at the heart of the experiment, "Little Albert," was not the healthy child that Watson described. Instead, they found that the boy actually suffered from congenital hydrocephalus, a medical condition that can lead to problems such as tunnel vision, convulsions, mental disability, and death.

Study Suggests Stress Can Impact Decisions

Stress affects decisions
Image: Diego Cervo / iStockPhoto
March 5, 2012 – In a study published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, researchers discovered that stress can have a powerful influence over the decision-making process. When you are making a decision under a great deal of stress, you are actually more likely to focus on the potential benefits of a decision rather than considering the possible downsides or risks.

Psychology Ranks as One of the Most Popular Online Degrees

Psychology degree
Image: Alicja Stolarczyk
March 12, 2012 – Psychology is one of the most popular subjects on college campuses throughout the world, so it may come as no surprise that psychology degrees are also extremely popular with online students. One study found that bachelor's programs in psychology were ranked as the most popular online programs, and master's programs in psychology came in at number three.

Scientists Seek the Source of Creativity

Creativity
Image: Artem Chernyshevych
March 14, 2012 – Researchers from the University of Southern California published new research on the areas of the brain are heavily involved in creativity. While people often think of creative endeavors as a "right-brain" process, the researchers found that creative thinking was actually much stronger when both sides of the brain worked together.

Study Looks at How Chronic Stress Can Impair Memory

Stress and memory
Image: Carl Dwyer
March 21, 2012 – Experts have long known that chronic stress can have a serious impact on health, affecting everything from emotional well-being to immunity. Researchers from the State University of New York at Buffalo have also discovered that long-term stress can also have a serious impact on memory.

Study Suggests that Mental Games are Beneficial to Healthy Older Adults

Mental games
Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
April 4, 2012 - People have long suggested that when it comes to mental abilities, the old adage of "use it or lose it" is important. Research published in the journal BMC Medicine indicates that cognitive training games can be a particularly useful tool for preventing mental declines that often accompany old age.

Multitasking May not Always be a Bad Thing

Multitasking
Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
April 18, 2012 – Previous research has suggested that multitasking can actually seriously impair both productivity and accuracy. However, new research published in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review indicates that those who engage in technology multitasking (using more than one tech tool at once) might be better at integrating visual and auditory information.

APA Report on Stress in America Reveals Generational Differences

Image: Alan Cleaver
May 8, 2012 - The APA's latest "Stress in America" report indicated that there were generational differences in how stress impacts people's lives. More than 50 percent of younger adults indicated that their stress levels had increased over the past five years, while older adults reported the lowest stress levels of any age group.

Does a Sweet Tooth Indicate a Sweeter Personality?

Sweet tooth
Image: Shannah Pace
May 9, 2012 – Stuffing yourself with candy and sweets might not be good for your health, but it might indicate that you have a sweet personality. In a series of studies, researchers discovered that people who identified themselves as having a "sweet tooth" were more likely to be rated as agreeable by other people.

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