Disgust as a Moral Compass, Mental Health for Syrian Refugees, plus more weekly links


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

  • By definition, disgust is not tied to people’s ethical or moral values. However, research into the complicated relationship between visceral and moral disgust reveals how the interplay between the two helped define our social development as a species. (Aeon)
  • You may want to hold off on starting that new thriller if you’re having a busy week. Chances are, if you start, you’ll keep watching and watching. According to a study published by Netflix, viewers prefer to binge watch, reinforcing the company’s belief that the best way to release material is as a full season. (New York Times)

Image: HBO

  • There’s a shortage of mental health services in the US. What does this shortage look like if you’re rich and white? Not too bad. But, while mental illness does not discriminate in who it affects, it seems practitioners do, particularly against working class and minority groups. (The Atlantic)
  • As the Syrian civil war continues, psychologists are searching for ways to best tend to the mental health needs of refugees displaced by violence. The Public Mental Health Initiative has shared a guidebook that provides a framework for how mental health professionals can best help this new and growing population of refugees. (Public Mental Health Initiative)
  • Psychologists are increasingly reliant on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk), an online crowdsourcing service, to recruit research participants. However, a closer look at the dependence on these online subjects suggests it may not be “the revolution in social and behavioral science” that was advertised. (Science)
  • Can you picture your childhood home? Research suggests that roughly two percent of the population cannot because of a condition called aphantasia, which prohibits the brain from creating the mental imagery essential for learning. (The Guardian)


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