James M. Sherlock (PhD candidate in Psychology) published an article on 'The Conversation':
Singld Out, an online dating service based on “cutting-edge” science, has the solution for busy singles to sniff out the perfect companion. Literally.
The dating site, in conjunction with a company called Instant Chemistry, offers its subscribers a DNA-based compatibility check of the genes underlying natural body scent. The site promises better sex, healthier children and greater long-term satisfaction than genetically-incompatible schmucks who stupidly rely on meeting people to start relationships.
Just order a DNA kit, spit in the tube, mail it in and wait for the verdict.
What prompts ordinary people to commit acts of evil?
The question has been debated by philosophers, moralists, historians and scientists for centuries.
One idea that carries much weight today is this: you, me - almost anyone - is capable of carrying out atrocities if ordered to do so.
Commanded by an authoritarian figure, and wishing to conform, we could bulldoze homes, burn books, separate parents from children or even slaughter them, and our much-prized conscience would not as much as flicker.
Called the "banality of evil", the theory has been proffered as an explanation for why ordinary, educated Germans took part in the Jewish genocide of World War II.
Now psychologists, having reviewed an opinion-shaping experiment carried out more than 50 years ago, are calling for a rethink.
"The more we read and the more data we collect, the less evidence we find to support the banality of evil idea, the notion that participants are simply 'thoughtless' or 'mindless' zombies who don't know what they're doing and just go along for the sake of it," said Alex Haslam, a professor at the University of Queensland in Australia.
Professor Matt Sanders (Professor of Clinical Psychology; Director, Parenting and Family Support Centre) speaks to 'The Age' about a Queensland Schools decision to ban students from performing cartwheels, handstands or any other type of gymnastic move at school, "unless they are properly supervised by a trained PE teacher".
Read more and watch the video here:
An office enriched with plants makes staff happier and boosts productivity by 15 per cent, a University of Queensland researcher has found.
The study is the first of its kind to assess the long-term impacts of plants in an office environment.
Co-authored by Professor Alex Haslam, the study found that adding plants to an office also improved employee satisfaction and quality of life.
Professor Haslam said a green office helps employees to be more physically, mentally and emotionally involved in their work.
“Office landscaping helps the workplace become a more enjoyable, comfortable and profitable place to be,” he said.
“It appears that in part this is because a green office communicates to employees that their employer cares about them and their welfare.
“Employees from previously lean office environments experienced increased levels of happiness, resulting in a more effective workplace.”
The study was conducted in partnership with researchers from Cardiff University, the University of Exeter and the University of Groningen.
The research team examined the impact ‘lean’ versus ‘green’ office space has on employees from two large commercial offices in the UK and the Netherlands.
The team monitored staff productivity levels over a two-month period, and employees were surveyed to determine perceptions of air quality, concentration, and workplace satisfaction.
“Employees were more satisfied with their workplace and reported increased concentration levels and better perceived air quality in an office with plants,” Professor Haslam said.
“The findings suggest that investing in landscaping an office will pay off through an increase in office workers’ quality of life and productivity.”
Professor Haslam also said the findings challenge modern business philosophies that suggest a lean office is a more productive one.
"The 'lean' philosophy has been influential across a wide range of organisational domains,” he said.
“Modern offices and desks have been stripped back to create sparse spaces - our findings question this widespread theory that less is more – sometimes less is just less.”
The study is published today in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.
This was also covered in the following publications:
Tegan Cruwys and Alex Haslam are quoted in these articles on depression. They discuss their research findings that strong social relationships are key in treating and preventing clinical depression.
A survey of 16,000 people from around the world has found high levels of happiness in developed countries. Despite theories about a rise in rates of depression 85 per cent of Australians say they are content, making us the third happiest nation in the world.
Professor Bill Von Hippel joined Walter Williams on 4BC to discuss why we are so merry.
A UQ Psychology study has shown that families can be more effective in protecting children from bullying than school-based strategies alone.
The findings, to be published in the journal Behavior Therapy, show that parents can actively help their children reduce the impact of bullying.
Study author, Karyn Healy said the families of primary school-aged children regularly bullied at school who participated in the study's trial program reported that their children were bullied less and were much less emotionally distressed after the program.
Is it normal for siblings to fight? Recent research suggests that most parents see sibling fighting as normal, that they are concerned about it but still seem to think that their children or grandchildren are getting along well enough.
So how can those messages be so contradictory and if sibling rivalry is healthy and normal, when does it become a problem?
Dr John Pickering discusses 'When siblings fight' on 612 ABC Brisbane.
A global study has mapped brain activity when people give rewards or inflict punishment.
It's shown people enjoy giving to people in their own group in a similar way to receiving a reward themselves.
But the study also found people feel less enjoyment when giving to a group outside their own.
Dr Pascal Molenberghs discusses 'How your brain could be wired to be racist' on 612 ABC Brisbane.
When it comes to romance, the world around us is full of choice - but do you find yourself only dating a particular type?
Bill von Hippel was one of the expert commenters on SBS Insight which explored the issue of cross-cultural dating:
Established in 2011 and maintained by the income of an endowment gift of $23,000 from Dr Donald Tugby, who taught at The University of Queensland from 1958 to 1986. Dr Tugby‘s career began teaching anthropology, social psychology, and sociology within the Department of Psychology under Don McElwain. Dr. Tugby also served as the State Convenor of Psychologists for Peace until 2009.
(a) Head, School of Psychology, on advice from staff researching and/or teaching in the field of peace psychology.
(b) Students –
(c) Highest overall mark for honours thesis.
1,000 and a School of Psychology certificate.
Established in 2009 and maintained by a bequest from the late Dr Elsie Harwood, Pioneering Australian geropsychologist and UQ academic, who along with others was instrumental in establishing the Department of Psychology at the University.
Awarded by the School for the best honours thesis in ageing.
$250 (and University provides certificate)