A new study looks at how images of coffee's origins affect the perception of its premiumness and quality.
- 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.
Fifty years of research on children's toy preferences shows that kids generally prefer toys oriented toward their own gender.
- 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.
Our brains make snap moral decisions in mere seconds.
- 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.
Biologists use commonly-found insects that engage in cannibalism to prove a key evolutionary concept.
- 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.
In enclosures (top) where food was stickier, caterpillars were more likely to interact with their siblings.
Credit: Volker Rudolf/Rice University
A new study explores how using positive labels to describe a majority group may negative impact perceptions of minority groups.
- 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.
Pixabay<p>In the first study, participants were shown a fictitious Facebook profile belonging to a man named James. All participants read the same profile describing James, except for one difference: Half of the participants read that he was "heterosexual," while the other half read that he was "straight."</p><p>Then, both groups were shown a fictitious Facebook profile of a man named Chris, who was described as gay. The researchers asked participants to rate their impressions of Chris. The results showed that participants who had been recently exposed to the word "straight" tended to report worse perceptions of Chris, however this was true only among participants with higher levels of religiosity and prejudice.</p><p>The researchers conducted the same study again, but this time they included a third group of participants who read a profile of James that didn't describe him as "straight" or "heterosexual."</p><p>The second study produced similar results: Highly religious participants reported worse impressions of Chris after being exposed to the label "straight," although in general there wasn't a significant difference between the three groups ("heterosexual," "straight" and control).</p><p>The first two studies involved participants who commonly used the word "straight" to refer to heterosexual people. But what about cultures that don't use such language?</p>
Credit: Sacchi et al.<p>The researchers decided to conduct a third study in Italy, where people don't use the word "straight" to refer to heterosexual people. In the study, all participants were asked to classify 20 pictures. Ten pictures showed heterosexual couples, while the other ten showed non-romantic partners, such as a pair of police officers.</p><p>The first group of participants was asked to apply the Italian word for "straight" ("retti") to pictures of people in romantic relationships, and to label those who weren't as "other" ("altro"). Meanwhile, the second group was asked to perform the same task, but to label the romantic couples with the Italian word for yellow ("gialli").</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The word "gialli" was selected because this is a common, neutral adjective, related to a visual feature (in this case, color instead of shape) and unrelated to sexual orientation," the researchers wrote.</p><p>Again, the results showed that being exposed to the word "straight" tended to worsen participants' perceptions of gay men — but only for highly religious participants. Interestingly, all three studies showed that participants low in religiosity actually reported better impressions of gay men after reading the word "straight."</p>
Credit: Gwestheimer via Wikipedia<p>The researchers said their study is the first to examine the consequences of using positive language to describe majority groups, and that they hope the results will lead to "fruitful" future research to better understand the effects of positive labeling.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"We should remember that modern prejudice is often subtle, indirect, invisible to the perpetrator, and revealed more by ingroup favoritism than explicit outgroup derogation," Sacchi told PsyPost. "In contemporary society, ingroup-directed favoritism and accentuated positive feelings, as sympathy and admiration, toward ingroup members could be the 'modern' basis for discrimination."</p>