Monitor on Psychology - March 2012 - (Page 14)

Brief In Snapshots of some of the latest peer-reviewed research within psychology and related fields. ThinkStock liberated rat, suggesting that the desire for a playmate was not the driving force behind their empathy. (Science, Dec. 9) n Many soldiers remain reluctant to admit they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or have suicidal thoughts, according to a review of postdeployment screening questionnaires completed by more than 1,700 U.S. Army soldiers. The study finds that soldiers who were allowed to complete the forms anonymously reported symptoms of depression and PTSD and suicidal thoughts two to four times more often than those who had to put their names on the forms. In addition, more than 20 percent of the soldiers who screened positive for depression or PTSD said they were uncomfortable reporting their answers honestly in routine post-deployment screenings. (Archives of General Psychiatry, October) n Self-affirmation may help encourage medical screenings, according to a study by researchers at the University of Florida. Scientists asked study participants to think of a trait they value, such as compassion or honesty, and then write about how they or a friend demonstrated that trait. Participants then watched a video about a disorder that could lead to several medical complications, and had the option of completing an online risk calculator for the disorder. Compared with those who had written about a friend’s compassion, more participants who wrote self-affirming essays chose to find out their risk for the disorder. (Psychological Science, in press) toddlers who don’t get their normal naps are more anxious and are less able to solve problems, new research suggests. n Nap-deprived children are missing more than sleep, according to scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder. Researchers assessed the emotional expressions of healthy, nap-deprived toddlers one hour after their normal nap times, and tested them again on another day after they had their normal naps. The researchers found that missing just one nap led to more anxiety, less joy and less understanding of how to solve problems. (Journal of Sleep Research, in press) n Thinking back to childhood may make you more likely to help others, according to a study by Harvard University scientists. In one experiment, researchers asked participants to donate to a charitable cause. Those who had been prompted to think back to their 14 childhoods shortly before gave more to charity than participants who were asked to do something neutral, such as think about the last time they went grocery shopping. (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Dec. 19) n Empathy may drive rats to help each other, suggesting the feeling is not limited to humans and other primates, according to research led by University of Chicago scientists. The team put pairs of rats together in cages, allowing one rat to roam freely and restraining the other in a clear tube at the cage’s center. The researchers found that the free rats would release the door and set their captive, distressed companions free. The findings were replicated even when the free rats were denied access to the M o n i to r o n p s yc h o l o g y • M a rc h 2 0 1 2

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

Monitor on Psychology - March 2012
President’s column
From the CEO
Supreme Court rejects eyewitness protections
New member benefit: prevention screenings
A psychodynamic treatment for PTSD shows promise for soldiers
Was ‘Little Albert’ ill during the famed conditioning study?
New research identifies ways to improve eyewitness identifications
In Brief
‘Our health at risk’
Perspective on Practice
APA endorses higher education guidelines
Random Sample
Judicial Notebook
Help for struggling veterans
Driving out cancer disparities
In the Public Interest
Practice, virtually
The legal and ethical issues of virtual therapy
Psychologist PROFILE
Bringing life into focus
Pay attention to me
Division Spotlight

Monitor on Psychology - March 2012