Author posts

The Police Fighting To End The War On Drugs

Police chiefs are banding together to end the war on drugs.

Who Teaches The Teachers?

Most teaching textbooks aren't evidence-based according to a new report, so where should teachers go to keep their skills up to date?

The Academic Publishing Scandal in Two Minutes

Why universities can no longer afford to access the research they created themselves.

The Robin Hood of Science: The Missing Chapter

The tale of a young man driven to his death for fighting for what is right, and the young woman picking up where he left off.

Meet the Robin Hood of Science, Alexandra Elbakyan

How one researcher created a pirate bay for science more powerful than even libraries at top universities.

We Need to Rewrite the Textbook on How to Teach Teachers

A report from the National Council on Teacher Quality has found teacher-training textbooks aren't based in evidence.

10 Things Police Get Wrong About Psychology

Researchers tested police on major misconceptions about the psychology of policing

Lessons from Psychology in How to Stick to Your Goals

The ability to delay gratification is vital for a successful life, and research suggests it is a skill that can be cultivated.

China’s Radical Plan to Gamify Social Control

How China's new social credit system could lead to an Orwellian future.

How to Use the Feynman Technique to Identify Pseudoscience

Richard Feynman's method for understanding science can also be used for detecting pseudoscience.

Why Do People Fall for Pseudo-Profound Bullsh*t?

Researchers assessed what makes someone likely to believe collections of randomly mixed buzzwords were "profound."

When we become blinded by fear, fear-mongers win

We naturally respond disproportionately to events that frighten us, but to do so is playing into the hands of the terrorists.

Can Online Learning Ever Beat the Real Thing?

An engineering professor at Oakland University has a surprising answer.


How Hearing Something Now, Can Lead You to Believe the Opposite Later

If I were to say that “crocodiles sleep with their eyes closed,” and then a week later ask you if “crocodiles sleep with their eyes open,” what would you say? The answer might surprise you.

The Mystery of the UK's Latest Drug Prosecution Figures

If you are caught with "soft" drugs in the UK, you are now more likely to be prosecuted than if you are caught with "hard" drugs.

The Cult of 'Deal or No Deal'

A look at the techniques the show’s producers use to whip the contestants into a superstitious frenzy, and the host’s own bizarre beliefs.

A War On Drugs That’s Actually Worth Fighting

100,000 people now die every year due to fake drugs. It is time for the resources wasted on a failed "war on drugs" to be put to good use.

The Psychology of Initiation Ceremonies

The latest in a string of lurid allegations about initiation ceremonies in elite British universities has shocked the British public. What causes otherwise intelligent individuals to engage in unspeakable acts?

The Problem With Nuance For The Sake of Nuance

A sociologist has launched a blistering attack on his own field, but the problem he addresses is something that affects us all.

Most New Psychology Findings Can’t Be Replicated. So Now What?

A massive, groundbreaking study has found that the majority of new psychology findings in the top three flagship journals can't be replicated. Where do we go from here?

The Surprising Truth About Sniffer Dogs

Research has shown that drugs dogs routinely act based on the behavioral cues of their handlers, rather than acting on their sense of smell, raising important questions about the Fourth Amendment rights of anyone subject to search based on their actions.

A Simple Way to Use Psychology to Run Faster

Running to music that is in sync with your pace can make you run faster, for longer, and now, there's an app for that.

Why People (Still) Believe in Quacks

Why is it that in the face of a total lack of evidence for their effectiveness, so many people feel so much affection for quacks?

The Real Miracle of Acupuncture: That Anyone Still Believes In It

Over 3,000 studies have now been conducted into acupuncture; it's time to accept that the ancient Chinese practice is a complete waste of time.

Why I Can’t Take Homeopathy Seriously

Jeremy Corbyn, the man who will take the Labour Party to the next British election, believes in homeopathy. Here's why that matters.

A New Study with Big Implications for Antivaxxers

Researchers have discovered that the measles virus erases the body’s natural immunity to other diseases.


The Latest Health Scare, In Perspective

Us humans are bad at comparing risk. Don't be hoodwinked by scare stories.

Google Neural Network Produces Psychedelic Imagery

A look at the implications of a promising discovery by researchers at Google.

Believe It Or Not, Most Published Research Findings Are Probably False

Ten years ago, a researcher claimed most published research findings are false; now a decade later, his claim is stronger than ever before. How can this be?

Why do so many people think MSG is bad for you?

Most people seem to believe MSG is bad for you. In fact, it is far more likely to be good for you.

WiFi Won't Make You Ill, but Thinking that It Will Really Can

What happened when researchers strapped fake WiFi routers to people's heads to test if electromagnetic sensitivity is real or imagined?

No, Smartphones Aren't Making Children Autistic

A psychiatrist has made headlines claiming smartphones are making children "borderline" autistic. Here's why that's rubbish:

The Seductive Allure of Neuroscience Explanations

Does dropping a few brain-related words into an argument cause people to lose the capacity for critical thought?

World Health Organization Demands Pharmaceutical Companies Stop Withholding Clinical Trials as Study Finds Over Half of Registered Clinical Trials Are Never Published

In the United States, the FDA has the power to fine drug companies $10,000 a day for failing to publish clinical trials, yet most clinical trials still never see the light of day.

The 'worm' with the potential to determine elections by manipulating your vote

It has become commonplace to see a "worm" based on the reactions of a tiny sample of audience members running across our screens during televised presidential debates. Psychologists tested whether the worm can influence our voting intentions and the results are worrying in the extreme.

Why the Widespread Belief in 'Learning Styles' Is Not Just Wrong; It's Also Dangerous

Dr. Tesia Marshik who is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse walks us through the extensive evidence that learning styles don't exist, before looking at why the belief is so widespread and why the belief is such a serious problem.

The problem of 'pointing' in modern journalism

A new study examines over a hundred rumors spread through over a thousand news articles in 2014 and investigates the role major news publications play in the spread of misinformation.

How Does Consuming Glucose Affect Your Memory?

While many people believe sugar makes kids hyperactive, this theory has long been debunked by research. However researchers are only just beginning to understand the complex relationship between glucose and learning.

'The first crack in the wall of significance testing'

A major psychology journal has banned the use of the near-universally adopted practice of significance testing, citing recent evidence of the technique's unreliability. What will be the fallout for psychology as a field?

What neuromyths do you believe in?

Many people, including a majority of school teachers, harbor important false beliefs about the brain. Are you one of them?

Why Do So Many Psychologists Write So Badly?

An in-depth look at the fine line between bad writing and "bullshitting" in psychology.

Did Facebook Just Finally Kill Off Hoax News?

Yesterday Facebook updated the News Feed to attempt to prevent the spread of hoax news stories. What will the fallout look like?

Don't Be Taken in by The Nonsense Science of "Cell Memory Theory"

According to a story doing the rounds on social media, organ transplant patients can take on the personalities of their donors. Don't believe the hype.

Learning How to Learn

Much of what we were taught in school about how to learn has been shown to be comparatively ineffective, so what actually works?

A Dark Forgotten Past, and Why it Needs to be Remembered

A dark period from the past of psychiatry risks being forgotten, we can't allow that to happen.

Believe it or not, sugar doesn't cause hyperactivity

Despite widespread belief in the myth that sugar causes hyperactivity, scientists have known for more than two decades that the link is all in the mind.

Is This the Most Misleading Image in Neuroscience?

One image has had an incalculable effect on policy around the world, but is it even remotely representative of what happens in the real world? Children who have been neglected can look forward to a more positive outlook than this image would suggest.

One Amazing Reason Clickbait Can Be Bad For You!

A new study demonstrates how headlines can alter how you perceive the content of news articles.

People Say They Care About Brain Science, But Do They Really?

According to a new study, people want to be interested in brain science - but don't act on that desire - or don't get the chance.

How Your Body Language Alters Your State of Mind

We've known for a very long time that our body language influences others. What we're only now beginning to understand is how our body language alters the way we ourselves perceive the world.

How Common Myths About the Human Brain Can Be Dangerous

Some neuromyths — incorrect statements about how the brain works — have become "common knowledge," repeated by educators and used to influence everything from public policy to parenting practices. It's time for that to change.


Satire is under attack, but are the fears justified?

Facebook recently announced that it will display warnings beside satirical content. In this post we look at the flaws and implications of recent research on the spread of false information on Facebook.

The Paradox of unhappy liberals and happy conservatives, in happy welfare states

According to a new study, people living in more liberal countries are happier than people in more conservative countries; but paradoxically, people who consider themselves to be liberal are less happy than people who think of themselves as conservative, regardless of where they live. Why?