Do you have a body piercing somewhere? Do you like body piercings? I know of some colleagues who change their hair, the color or size when switching jobs. There’s even a Dutch psychiatrist who thinks that rigorous change of hair style predicts the onset of schizophrenia. More recent is the publication of a review on body piercing and psychopathology.
This systematic review discusses 23 studies on body piercing and psychopathology.
- Prevalence of body piercings is 6,8% to14% in the general population
- Among adolescents prevalence is reported between 4,3% and 51%
- Females are more likely to display body piercings than males
- The highest rate of body piercings is in the age group of 14-24 years of age
- Having body piercings is associated with high risk behavior such as alcohol use, smoking and drug use
- Mixed results have been reported between the correlation of body piercings and high risk sexual behavior, Russian roulette, dagens.dk games,problematic gambling and eating disorders
- Personality characteristics of those with body piercings show a higher correlation with antisocial activity in adolescents, impulsiveness and thrill seeking in women, high negative emotionality and low positive emotionality in women and a weak association with body dissatisfaction
So is a body piercing a bad sign?
Nope because most of the research is done in young age groups and adolescents, age groups in which this behavior is more frequent. Moreover, the effect sizes of these studies diminished over time. In more recent studies the effect sizes were very small suggesting that body piercings becoming normal practice instead of a marker of deviance. Some authors even suggest that multiple body piercings are associated with an increased rate of risky behavior while a single body piercing is not a marker of this behavior.
One other factor to be taken into account is the location of the body piercing.
Only 1 study explored BP locations with regard to psychopathology. From a psychological perspective, intimate BPs may deserve special consideration, and it would also appear legitimate to differentiate BP according to the degree of visibility and intimacy.
The authors suggest that general practitioners might screen patients with a body piercing for high risk behavior, and help the patient explore the role of body piercing in their identity.
What do you think?
Bui, E., Rodgers, R., Cailhol, L., Birmes, P., Chabrol, H., & Schmitt, L. (2010). Body Piercing and Psychopathology: A Review of the Literature Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 79 (2), 125-129 DOI: 10.1159/000276376
Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers — and as a counterpoint Tivo, which (until a recent court victory that tripled its stock price) appeared to be struggling.
Growing up in New York City, Neil didn’t get to see much of the night sky — it’s lost in the 24-hour glow of neon signs and skyscrapers. When he was nine, his parents took him to the Hayden Planetarium at the Natural History Museum. When the lights dimmed and the voice-over thundered “We Are Now in the Universe,” the experience hit Neil like an asteroid. It was as if the universe was calling him. And after walking dogs every day to save up for a telescope, he has been answering ever since.
When I am traveling the planning mostly is done behind my computer these days. Computers in Human Behavior has a new special issue coming up about studies on the impact of web 2.0 and how these web 2.0 tools change the profile, the role and behavior of tourists.
Examples of applications in web 2.0 and tourism are:
- tripadvisor.com (a customer review website) is currently regarded as a major travel intermediary
- online social networks such as facebook.com are frequently used for developing and promoting the services of many destinations and tourism suppliers and/or for enabling travelers to get support and travel advice from each other
- social networks such as youtube.com and flickr.com have become major mass (social) media for disseminating and testing tourism market campaigns as well as collecting tourists’ feedback
- I often use Google Earth to check the surroundings of hotels before I bok a room
More Web 2.0 Travel Tools
Anyone some other suggestions?
This blog carnival collects together the best non-technical science writing that has appeared around the blogosphere in the last few months, to promote and celebrate science, nature or medicine blogs written for the public. It’s up at Mauka to Makai
Everyone has experienced the recollection of memories by some smell or odor. Sometimes these memories have to be fetched from a long long time ago not without difficulty. Often smelling something nice makes me wonder of what it reminds me off. But is this also evidence based or just sentimental crap?
According to a recent review not all of this is just nonsense. This review especially interested me due to it’s creative use of research design and theories about memory. Autobiographical memory across the life span can be divided into intervals across the life span. Over all the age distribution of memories evoked by verbal information is divided in the following phases: childhood amnesia, the bump, and recency or forgetting. Childhood amnesia is why we can’t remember almost anything before the age of 10, the bump is the enormous amount of memories that can be recalled from the ages 10 to 30 years, and recency reflects better retention of events occurring from the last 10 years.
This knowledge is based on verbal cues on personal memories, when comparing verbal cues to odors it’s found that older individuals have a bump with olfactory induced autobiographical memories whereas younger cohorts don’t have this bump. Moreover,presenting odors or words and asked the older participants to relate any autobiographical event to the respective cue the memories of the elderly evoked by odors were clearly located to the first decade of life whereas the younger group peaked on verbally evoked memories in early adulthood. The bump for memories evoked by odor appear earlier even before the age of 10, memories triggered by olfactory information are localized to the first decade of life (< 10 years) rather than to young adulthood. This is in contrast with other triggers such as verbal cues.
odor-evoked memorie are more emotional, associated with stronger feelings of being brought back in time, and have been thought of less often as compared to memories evoked by other cues
So it seems these sentimental observations seem to be true especially with increasing age, what do you think?
Larsson, M., & Willander, J. (2009). Autobiographical Odor Memory Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1170 (1), 318-323 DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.03934.x
Brain-training computer games are a multimillion pound industry. But this week, a study published in Nature suggests they may not live up to their promise. Neuroscientist Adrian Owen teamed up with the BBC popular science programme ‘Bang Goes The Theory’ to recruit more than 11,000 volunteers for a massive online experiment. To read the story in full, go here
Besides getting better at the game your training does brain training improve cognitive functioning? Want to know, have a look at this video.
Unfortunately not. After reviewing the literature the author of the review: Is Memory for Music Special, hesitantly had to admit that memory for music is not special. Popular music is not better remembered than other kinds of stimuli learned in young adult hood. Setting text or lists to music is not a better way to remember them. Music is not a better Mnemonic device. Music is not processed differently from other kinds of stimuli and as such is not better remembered than language processing or visual cues. Memory theories can be applied to both musical stimuli and nonmusical stimuli.
However,music does facilitate semantic memory in patients with dementia and in healthy older adults and this effect, although small in magnitude, is not limited to familiar melodies.
The author nevertheless keeps to his idea of memory for music being different since music differs from other stimuli. Music lying between stimuli with fixed concrete meaning and nonsense stimuli. Music is not meaningless, it communicates emotions and ideas although in an abstract, symbolic way. Music also has a structure but this structure is very different from other stimuli such as the structure of a poem. He’s probably right, who doesn’t have experiences as finding the right place, name or location when listening to music connected to that symbol. Who did not have the experience of listening to music and recollecting emotions or visual stimuli from past occasions when listening to the same music?
I think he is right after all, time will tell, what do you think?
Schulkind, M. (2009). Is Memory for Music Special? Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1169 (1), 216-224 DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04546.x
Empathy or the ability to appreciate someone else’s emotions and express this emotional awareness is a capacity that differs amongst individuals.
Cognitive empathy refers to imaginatively understanding another person’s thoughts, feelings and actions. Emotional empathy is feeling the emotion of another person, but maintaining a compassionate, other-focused perspective
Cognitive empathy can be tested with facial expression recognition. High scores on empathy is associated with higher accuracy at brief exposure of six different emotional expressions presented in 42 pictures during 50 milliseconds each picture. When these facial expressions of 6 different emotions were shown for a longer duration the social skills was significantly related to accuracy instead of the empathy score. Difficulty reading facial expressions leads to impaired social understanding.
Another important areas of empathic accuracy research is the ocular level or the area around the eyes. This region is important because of its evolutionary and neurobiological significance. This region expresses important information about the expresser and as such creates the ability to accurately read the mental states of others through cues provided by the ocular region. From recent research it’s concluded to be able to accurately “read or experience” another persons feelings by watching their eye region is unrelated to gender, self-esteem, Big Five personality, and a number of empathy related traits. This results in a lack of individual factors that predict empathic accuracy.
However, imagination or individuals who often use imagination in imagining how another person feels and thinks does accurately predict empathic accuracy when observing the ocular region
individuals who have a tendency to imagine themselves in situations or relate to fictional characters may be better able to simulate others’ feelings and thoughts and thus be better able to infer accurately the mental states of others. Perhaps, this habit of imagining the inner world of others develops one’s empathic accuracy ability through sustained and motivated practice.
I guess some small steps in understanding empathy and individual differences.
Besel, L., & Yuille, J. (2010). Individual differences in empathy: The role of facial expression recognition Personality and Individual Differences DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2010.03.013
Lee, S., Guajardo, N., Short, S., & King, W. (2010). Individual differences in ocular level empathic accuracy ability: The predictive power of fantasy empathy Personality and Individual Differences DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2010.03.016