March 11, 2013 For those who rely on technology to speak, there are a limited number of voices. "Perfect Paul" sounds robotic, and "Heather" can seem too old for some. Now, a researcher is using sound samples from people who have never been able to speak to create new, personalized voices for them.
February 11, 2013 An attention researcher wanted to find out how radiologists would fare in a version of the famous Invisible Gorilla study. He found that 83 percent of the radiologists failed to spot an image of a gorilla on slides they were told to inspect for cancer. It's just one example of how, when people are asked to perform a challenging task, their attention can narrow and blocks things out.
January 28, 2013 To understand how social rules affect the interactions between humans and machines, scientists re-created a famous psychology experiment using robots. What they found is that if robots are nice to us, we're nice to them. If they're not, we "punish" them.
November 30, 2012 A vote this weekend by a small group of academics could result in changes to several entries in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Doctors may no longer be advised to avoid diagnoses of depression after the death of a loved one, and Asperger's syndrome may be folded into the spectrum of autism.
October 23, 2012 Early on in American history, before radio and television, charisma wasn't particularly useful, one scholar says, since most decisions were made behind closed doors. Not so today. But how much difference do personality characteristics and charisma make?
October 3, 2012 In political debates, candidates frequently avoid uncomfortable topics by diverting the conversation to an unrelated strength. Many politicians hire debate coaches who have perfected this technique, called "the pivot." So why do these dodges usually evade our cognitive radar? A psychologist explains.
September 17, 2012 Teachers' expectations about their students' abilities affect classroom interactions in myriad ways that can impact student performance. Students expected to succeed, for example, get more time to answer questions and more specific feedback. But training aimed at changing teaching behavior can also help change expectations.
September 4, 2012 Every Top 40 hit in 1965 was in a major key and had a fast tempo. In 2009, more than half of the Top 40 songs were in a minor key. Has there been a shift in the emotional content of music in the past five decades, and why are we drawn to sadness and ambiguity in music?