January 23, 2012 The antidepressant Prozac selectively targets the chemical serotonin. When the drug was introduced in the 1980s, it helped solidify the idea in many minds that depression was the result of a chemical imbalance. But the real story is far more complicated.
January 2, 2012 In the 1970s, a sizable number of U.S. servicemen in Vietnam self-identified as heroin addicts. But when they returned stateside, the number of these soldiers who continued their addiction was surprisingly low. Why? Turns out a massive disruption in their environment and routine played a big role in helping them change their behavior.
December 23, 2011 When a Mumbai hotel was besieged by terrorists in 2008, something extraordinary happened: Workers didn't flee. They stayed behind to help save guests at the risk of their own lives. What could possibly explain it? A new study attempts to answer that question.
December 5, 2011 "It's all about telling stories," says the author of a new psychological study, "so creative people are likely to be able to tell themselves better stories, which would allow them to cheat more on the one hand, but not feel worse about it on the other."
September 27, 2011 In November 1941, two warships from Australia and Germany clashed off the coast of western Australia. Both sank. Despite extensive search efforts during and after World War II, the ships weren't found until 2008, after a team of psychologists analyzed the statements given by the surviving German crew members.
September 12, 2011 In his work with the dying, a psychiatrist asks patients to write a formal narrative of their life — a document they can pass on to whomever they choose. He's noticed that the stories people tell about themselves as they face death are often very different than the stories they tell at other points.
August 16, 2011 Would you drink reused sewage water that had been declared safe? No? You're not alone. Engineers say processing wastewater to make it clean and drinkable can provide a plentiful source for places where water is in short supply. But the public often balks at the thought. The reason, experts say, is a phenomenon called psychological contagion.
July 6, 2011 Psychologists have long worried that traditional police procedures for photo lineups land many innocent people in jail. Last month, Texas joined nine other states that have passed measures requiring police departments to review and reform their eyewitness procedures.
June 20, 2011 Two psychologists have been conducting experiments on inattentional blindness — how people fail to see things in front of them when they're focused on something else. They were inspired by a case in which a police officer said he didn't see a crime in progress even though he ran past it.
May 26, 2011 Twenty-six years after Robert Dixon Jr. went to prison for acting as an accessory to murder, friends and family swear that he is a new man, one committed to redeeming the second half of his life. But according to a test that holds incredible power — some say too much — in the U.S. justice system, Dixon is a psychopath, incapable of reform.
January 14, 2011 Very rarely is politics the primary motive behind assassinations or assassination attempts, says a 1999 Secret Service study. Rather, public figures are chosen because in the assassin's mind, it's a guaranteed way to transform from a "nobody" into a "somebody."
January 10, 2011 A child growing up in a poor home hears fewer words per hour on average than a child in a higher-income household, research has shown. So around the country, programs are trying to reduce the achievement gap by getting parents to talk more to their kids.