Know Thy Future Self, Tracking the Evolution of Language in Real-time, plus more weekly links


A selection of recent behavioral science news, articles, and resources of note:

  • When it comes to keeping up good grades or saving for retirement, research by psychologist Daphna Oyserman suggests that the best way to stay motivated is getting to know your future self. (Aeon)

eyewitness_main2Photo: Sam Breach

  • Eyewitness misidentification causes the majority of wrongful convictions in North America. In a recent study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, psychologists reveal patterns in how a victim’s race and gender can affect the accuracy of eyewitness identification of the perpetrator. (Social Psychological and Personality Science)
  • Of the world’s 19 wealthiest nations, the United States has the second highest overall income level but third highest percentage of citizens living below the poverty line. With poverty threatening the mental health of millions of Americans, the American Psychological Association looks at how psychologists can contribute to a solution. (APA Monitor)
  • According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the U.S. suicide rate is the highest it has been in 30 years. The reasons why remains unclear, though evidence suggests economic instability may be a key factor. (New York Times)
  • By studying the ongoing development of sign languages, researchers are tracking how language evolves in real-time. Counter-intuitive to our hashtagging habits and text message slang, research suggests that “the new generation has come up with richer, more grammatically complex utterances that use ever more parts of the body for different purposes.” (Science)
  • With same sex marriage legal in all fifty states, are doctors justified in refusing to perform hormone treatments, sex change operations, or fertility treatments due to religious affiliations? (Atlantic)


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