VR experiments manipulate how people feel about coffee

A new study looks at how images of coffee's origins affect the perception of its premiumness and quality.

Credit: Escobar / Petit / Velasco, Frontiers in Psychology
  • Images can affect how people perceive the quality of a product.
  • In a new study, researchers show using virtual reality that images of farms positively influence the subjects' experience of coffee.
  • The results provide insights on the psychology and power of marketing.
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Despite social pressure, boys and girls still prefer gender-typical toys

Fifty years of research on children's toy preferences shows that kids generally prefer toys oriented toward their own gender.

Credit: tan4ikk via Adobe Stock
  • A recent meta-analysis overviewed 75 studies on children's gender-related toy preferences.
  • The results found that "gender-related toy preferences may be considered a well-established finding."
  • It's a controversial topic: Some people argue that these preferences stem from social pressure, while others say they're at least partly rooted in biology.
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The four moral judgments you make every day

Our brains make snap moral decisions in mere seconds.

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pixabay
  • Moral psychology studies how we process moral questions and come to be moral beings.
  • A new framework says there are four kinds of moral judgment we all make.
  • Understanding how we evaluate moral or immoral actions can help us make better choices.
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Cannibalistic pantry moths prove a key principle of evolution

Biologists use commonly-found insects that engage in cannibalism to prove a key evolutionary concept.

Credit: Wikimedia
  • Researchers studied cannibalism among commonly-found moths to test an evolutionary principle.
  • The scientists concluded that moths with more sibling interaction were less selfish.
  • The principle applies to humans and other animals.
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Study: Does the label "straight" worsen perceptions of gay people?

A new study explores how using positive labels to describe a majority group may negative impact perceptions of minority groups.

Credit: Pixabay
  • In a recent study published in The Journal of Sex Research, heterosexual people were asked to rate their impressions of fictitious men.
  • Some of the fictitious men were described as "heterosexual," the others as "straight."
  • Across multiple studies, participants reported worse impressions of gay men after being exposed to the word "straight," but only if the participants were highly religious.
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