Becoming a vampire

Published paper!

Becoming a vampire without being bitten: the narrative collective-assimilation hypothesis.

“We propose the narrative collective-assimilation hypothesis—that experiencing a narrative leads one to psychologically become a part of the collective described within the narrative. In a test of this hypothesis, participants read passages from either a book about wizards (from the Harry Potter series) or a book about vampires (from the Twilight series). Both implicit and explicit measures revealed that participants who read about wizards psychologically became wizards, whereas those who read about vampires psychologically became vampires. The results also suggested that narrative collective assimilation is psychologically meaningful and relates to the basic human need for connection. Specifically, the tendency to fulfill belongingness needs through group affiliation moderated the extent to which narrative collective assimilation occurred, and narrative collective assimilation led to increases in life satisfaction and positive mood, two primary outcomes of belonging. The implications for the importance of narratives, the need to belong to groups, and social surrogacy are discussed.”

Psychological Science August 2011 vol. 22 no. 8 990-994

doi: 10.1177/0956797611415541

Driving blind

To investigate the attention needed to drive, Professor John W. Senders made a strange and dangerous experiment. Building a system with helmet programmed to cover eyes at regular intervals, John noted that attention would be required to maintain a safe path as a function of speed.

National Laboratory Mustache Day

National Lab Mustache Day (NLMD) strives to celebrate mustaches in the science laboratory over the ages. From Golgi, to Hochstrasser, to Ramaswami, to Vale, NLMD honors mustaches of all shapes and sizes. NLMD culminates this year on February 13th 2009 with lab mustache parties across the country and around the world. Everyone is invited to participate and celebrate.

IgNobel 2008

List of Ig Nobel Prize winners (2008)

* Archaeology: Astolfo Gomes de Mello Araujo and Jose Carlos Marcelino, for showing that armadillos can mix up the contents of an archaeological site. (Brazil)

* Biology: Marie-Christine Cadiergues, Christel Joubert, and Michel Franc, for discovering that fleas that live on dogs jump higher than fleas that live on cats.

* Chemistry: Sheree Umpierre, Joseph Hill, and Deborah Anderson, for discovering that Coca-Cola is an effective spermicide,[32] and C.Y. Hong, C.C. Shieh, P. Wu, and B.N. Chiang for proving it is not.

* Cognitive science: Slime molds can solve puzzles – Toshiyuki Nakagaki, Hiroyasu Yamada, Ryo Kobayashi, Atsushi Tero, Akio Ishiguro, and Ágota Tóth.

* Economics: Exotic dancers earn more when at peak fertility – Geoffrey Miller, Joshua Tyber, and Brent Jordan.

* Literature: David Sims, for his study “You Bastard: A Narrative Exploration of the Experience of Indignation within Organizations”.

* Medicine: Dan Ariely for demonstrating that expensive placebos are more effective than inexpensive placebos.

* Nutrition: Food tastes better when it sounds more appealing – Massimiliano Zampini and Charles Spence

* Peace: The Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology and the citizens of Switzerland, for adopting the legal principle that plants have dignity.[44]

* Physics: heaps of string or hair will inevitably tangle – Dorian Raymer and Douglas Smith

Article or death metal album title?

Harris JC. Agony. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2004 Apr;61(4):334.

Noll R. The blood of the insane. Hist Psychiatry. 2006 Dec;17(68 Pt 4):395-418.

Petsko GA. Winter, plague and pestilence. Genome Biol. 2001;2(11):COMMENT1013. Epub 2001 Oct 23. No abstract available.

Sistrunk Cranford J. Stay tuned for the next episode of pain. Int J Nurs Pract. 2001 Aug;7(4):288-91.

Via A good Poop