Posts Tagged ‘antisocial behavior’

David Cameron’s full-bladder technique really does work – but perhaps not in a way that the UK prime minister intends. Before important speeches or negotiations, Cameron keeps his mind focused by refraining from micturating. The technique may be effective – but it also appears to help people to lie more convincingly.

Iris Blandón-Gitlin of California State University in Fullerton and her colleagues asked 22 students to complete a questionnaire on controversial social or moral issues. They were then interviewed by a panel, but instructed to lie about their opinions on two issues they felt strongly about. After completing the questionnaire, and 45 minutes before the interview, in what they were told was an unrelated task, half drank 700 ml of water and the other half 50 ml.

The interviewers detected lies less accurately among those with a full bladder. Subjects who needed to urinate showed fewer signs that they were lying and gave longer, more detailed answers than those who drank less.

The findings build on work by Mirjam Tuk of Imperial College London, whose study in 2011 found that people with full bladders were better able to resist short-term impulses and make decisions that led to bigger rewards in the long run. These findings hinted that different activities requiring self-control share common mechanisms in the brain, and engaging in one type of control could enhance another.

Other research has suggested that we have a natural instinct to tell the truth which must be inhibited when we lie. Blandón-Gitlin was therefore interested to see whether the “inhibitory spillover effect” identified by Tuk would apply to deception.

Although we think of bladder control and other forms of impulse control as different, they involve common neural resources, says Blandón-Gitlin. “They’re subjectively different but in the brain they’re not. They’re not domain-specific. When you activate the inhibitory control network in one domain, the benefits spill over to other tasks.”

Blandón-Gitlin stresses that her study does not suggest that David Cameron would be more deceitful as a consequence of his full bladder technique. But she says that deception might be made easier using the approach – as long as the desire to urinate isn’t overwhelming. “If it’s just enough to keep you on edge, you might be able to focus and be a better liar,” she says.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn28199-the-lies-we-tell-are-more-convincing-when-we-need-to-pee/


World Cup soccer players with higher facial-width-to-height ratios are more likely to commit fouls, score goals and make assists, according to a study by a researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The structure of a soccer player’s face can predict his performance on the field—including his likelihood of scoring goals, making assists and committing fouls—according to a study led by a researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The scientists studied the facial-width-to-height ratio (FHWR) of about 1,000 players from 32 countries who competed in the 2010 World Cup. The results, published in the journal Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology, showed that midfielders, who play both offense and defense, and forwards, who lead the offense, with higher FWHRs were more likely to commit fouls. Forwards with higher FWHRs also were more likely to score goals or make assists.

“Previous research into facial structure of athletes has been primarily in the United States and Canada,” said Keith Welker, a postdoctoral researcher in CU-Boulder Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and the lead author of the paper. “No one had really looked at how facial-width-to-height ratio is associated with athletic performance by comparing people from across the world.”

FWHR is the distance between the cheekbones divided by the distance between the mid-brow and the upper lip. Past studies have shown that a high FWHR is associated with more aggressive behavior, with both positive and negative results. For example, high FWHR correlates with greater antisocial and unethical behavior, but it also correlates with greater success among CEOs and achievement drive among U.S. presidents. However, some previous research has failed to find a correlation between FWHR and aggressive behavior in certain populations.

The new study adds weight to the argument that FWHR does correlate with aggression. Welker and his colleagues chose to look at the 2010 World Cup because of the quality and quantity of the data available. “There are a lot of athletic data out there,” Welker said. “We were exploring contexts to look at aggressive behavior and found that the World Cup, which quantifies goals, fouls and assists, provides a multinational way of addressing whether facial structure produces this aggressive behavior and performance.”

Scientists have several ideas about how FWHR might be associated with aggression. One possibility is that it’s related to testosterone exposure earlier in life. Testosterone during puberty can affect a variety of physical traits, including bone density, muscle growth and cranial shape, Welker said.

Co-authors of the study were Stefan Goetz, Shyneth Galicia and Jordan Liphardt of Wayne State University in Michigan and Justin Carré of Nipissing University in Ontario, Canada. –

See more at: http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2014/11/11/facial-structure-predicts-goals-fouls-among-world-cup-soccer-players#sthash.mAvOP9oO.dpuf