Monitor on Psychology - February 2012 - (Page 14)

brief In Snapshots of some of the latest peer-reviewed research within psychology and related fields. the more they want to avoid becoming well-informed, according to a series of five studies by researchers at Duke University and the University of Waterloo. In one study, participants were asked to provide information about their knowledge of the nation’s natural resource management and then read a statement declaring that the United States has less than 40 years’ worth of oil. Those who said they felt unknowledgeable about the U.S. oil supply not only avoided negative information about the issue, they became even more reluctant to know more when the issue became imminent (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Nov. 7). Blacks who reported experiencing very stressful racism are more likely to be depressed and anxious, a study suggests. Keith Brofsky n For African-Americans, perceived racism may cause mental health symptoms similar to trauma and could even lead to physical health disparities, according to a meta-analysis of 66 studies comprising 18,140 black adults in the United States. The study showed that blacks who reported experiencing more and very stressful racism were more likely to report depression and anxiety, which may contribute to the black population’s high rate of hypertension (Journal of Counseling Psychology, Nov. 7). n People with high blood pressure and other stroke risk factors are also more likely to develop cognitive problems, according to a study conducted at Indiana University. Scientists collected data on nearly 24,000 people who had 14 no history of cognitive impairment or stroke and assessed each person’s risk for experiencing a stroke, based on their ages and whether they had high blood pressure, diabetes or heart problems. They also assessed participants’ cognitive health with a six-item screening test, which was repeated annually for four years. They found that each 10-year increment in age doubled a person’s risk of developing clinically significant cognitive impairment, and that the existence of left ventricular hypertrophy — an enlargement of the heart that can result from high blood pressure — increased their risk by about 30 percent (Neurology, Nov. 8). n The less people know about complex issues such as the economy, energy consumption and the environment, n Highly creative people are more likely to cheat, possibly because they’re better able to rationalize their actions, suggests a study by scientists at Duke University and Harvard University. In one experiment, participants were shown drawings with dots on two sides of a diagonal line and asked to indicate whether there were more dots on the left side or right side. In half of 200 trials, it was virtually impossible to tell whether there were more dots on one side or another, but the subjects were told they’d be paid 10 times as much for each time they said there were more dots on the right side. Participants who previously scored high on tests of creativity were significantly more likely to give the answer that paid more, rather than the one they thought was right (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Nov. 28). M o n i t o r o n p s y c h o l o g y • F e b ru a ry 2 0 1 2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Monitor on Psychology - February 2012

Monitor on Psychology - February 2012
President’s column
From the CEO
APA files two briefs in support of same-sex couples
New registry seeks to understand addiction recovery through ‘crowdsourcing’
APA launches a database of tests and measures
Watch for new member benefit: “APA Access”
Apply now for APA’s Advanced Training Institutes
PsycTHERAPY, APA’s new database, brings therapy demos to life
In Brief
APA scientists help guide tobacco regulation
A-mazing research
‘A machine for jumping to conclusions’
Judicial Notebook
Random Sample
Righting the imbalance
The beginnings of mental illness
Science Directions
Improving disorder classification, worldwide
Protesting proposed changes to the DSM
Interventions for at-risk students
Harnessing the wisdom of the ages
Anti-bullying efforts ramp up
Hostile hallways
R U friends 4 real?
Support for teachers
Speaking of Education
Record keeping for practitioners
Going green
At the intersection of law and psychology
Division Spotlight
Grants help solve society’s problems

Monitor on Psychology - February 2012