Our weekly roundup of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web
Have you noticed an increase in fraudulent texts lately? I definitely have – and so has David Robson, who writes at BBC future. Often times, these scammers make it seem like we are facing imminent threats such as legal problems or loss of money and take advantage of the fact that we are less likely to think and act rationally in this type of situation. And the pandemic created just the right conditions for these scams to thrive, Robson writes.
As I said a few weeks ago, the notion that groups succumb to “groupthink” is hotly debated. This week at Wired, Annie Murphy Paul takes a look at the more positive side of group cognition, drawing on a fascinating case study of seafarers aboard a runaway aircraft carrier working together to narrowly avert a disaster.
An Australian study found that primary school children perform better when their schools are surrounded by more green spaces. Not only that these schools are attended by children from wealthier families, write the researchers Alison Carver and Amanda J Wheeler The conversationbecause the study compared schools with similar socio-economic backgrounds. Instead, the couple suggests that the effect could be related to less pollution near schools with more greenery or a stress-relieving effect from the green spaces themselves.
Paying a little too much attention can distort our perception of the world, argues Henry Taylor at psyche.
Could brands one day add advertising to your dreams? This is the fear of a group of dream researchers who have called in an open letter for the regulation of “dream manipulation”, reports Sofia Moutinho at science.
Researchers have found that when cancers are exposed to the common antidepressant citalopram, they become bolder and easier to emerge from their shelters to forage. The study was done in the laboratory but used antidepressants previously found in creeks, reports Douglas Main at National Geographic. This suggests that antidepressants released into the environment via sewage could affect animal behavior in the wild.
Compiled by Matthew Warren (@MattBWarren), Editor of BPS Biomedarticles