A new study published in Current Biology reveals that religious belief has a negative influence on children’s altruism and judgments of other’s actions. The survey covers some of the monotheistic religions only (Christian’s and Moslem’s). This study report was later on retracted from publication, but can still be accessed here.
Madame Blavastky wrote an article in The Theosophist, Vol. V, N° 2 (1883) about morality and religion : “Exoteric religions base their morality on the hope of reward and fear of punishment at the hands of an Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe by following the rules he has at his pleasure laid down for the obedience of his helpless subjects; in some cases, however, religions of later growth have made morality to depend on the sentiment of gratitude to that Ruler for benefits received. The worthlessness, not to speak of the mischievousness, of such systems of morality, is almost self-evident.”
Trading between honesty and self-interest is a good indicator of the state of maturity of our societies. A recent study using field experiment in 40 countries shows how honest behavior can be affected by a number of societal factors.
Complaining is very common in our human overstressed societies. This research shows how the brain mechanism handle it. The neuropsychologist Donald Hebb developed a theory in the early 1950’s – the Hebbian Theory – which explains how neurons are pairing together in a learning process similar to what recent researches in Artificial Intelligence (AI) called ” Unsupervised Learning”. This article identifies the various types of complainers and gives some advices.
Science had already shown that dogs can see and hear the signs of human emotions. A new study focused on the evidence that dogs are sensitive to the human’s attentional state when producing facial expressions, and concluded that : “Dogs’ production of facial expressions is subject to audience effects, and can be tailored to the human attentional state suggesting some communicative function and are not simple emotional displays based on the dogs arousal state.“
” A study recently published in the Journal of Positive Psychology helps explain
some of the key differences between a happy life and a meaningful one. The surveys asked people to answer a series of questions on their happiness levels, the degree to which they saw their lives as meaningful, and their general lifestyle and circumstances.
More broadly, the findings suggest that pure happiness is about getting what we want in life. “
So, the key question is : ” What do we really want in our life ? “
And, to answer this question, we need first to ask : ” Who really is this one who want ? “. Once we have identified the doer, the one who want something, and how this doer functions, we may come back to the first question with a completely different answer.
Radha Burnier, former International President of the Theosophical Society wrote : “A person pursues money life after life. In one life a child dies, in another he loses his reputation, in a third his wife desert him, all sorts of things happen, and he asks himself : ‘What is this money worth ? It does not bring me the happiness I need.’ Then he begins to enquire : ‘What is real happiness ?’ Thus the evolutionary power pushes him until he begins to use rightly the freedom to become aware and act in accordance with that awareness. That freedom is inseparable from intelligence.”
Source: Science Daily, Psychology Research and Behavior Management
A study made by Tulane University showed that third graders who manifest anxiety were helped in their well-being and emotional health after practicing yoga and mindfulness activities.
A group of 20 students underwent special yoga practice while a control group of 32 students underwent the usual school care including counseling. The yoga practice included breathing exercises, guided relaxation and yoga postures. The researchers used two instruments to assess the change in the students: the Brief Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale-Peabody Treatment Progress Battery version and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory.
“The intervention improved psychosocial and emotional quality of life scores for students, as compared to their peers who received standard care,” said principal author Alessandra Bazzano, associate professor of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences at Tulane University School of Public Health. “We also heard from teachers about the benefits of using yoga in the classroom, and they reported using yoga more often each week, and throughout each day in class, following the professional development component of intervention.”
Alessandra N Bazzano, Christopher E Anderson, Chelsea Hylton, Jeanette Gustat. Effect of mindfulness and yoga on quality of life for elementary school students and teachers: results of a randomized controlled school-based study. Psychology Research and Behavior Management, 2018; Volume 11: 81 DOI: 10.2147/PRBM.S157503
Two scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a device that could detect what one is thinking, send Google queries and get replies from the Internet.
Arnav Kapur and Pattie Maes, the developers, called it AlterEgo, consisting of a headset that puts sensors in seven areas on the cheeks, jaw and chin, and which detects signals in these speech-related areas. In a demonstration with New Scientist writerChelsea Whyte, Kapur was asked several questions such as the population of Santiago, Chile, the square root of 360,005 and the product of two large numbers. Kapur just repeated the questions in his mind. The computer responded with the correct answers. In a test with eight people, AlterEgo could recognize words and numbers with 90% accuracy.
AlterEgo is just one of several artificial intelligence softwares being developed to read thoughts through brain waves or nerve signals. The implications can be alarming. The technology now is still in its infancy, but it seems only a matter of time before such devices can really read our thoughts with high accuracy.
Education Date: March 2018 Source: New Scientist
If you need to produce your best creative work, try boosting your alpha brainwaves.
Joel Lopata at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, and his colleagues have found that people with more synchronised alpha waves are more creative and produce work of higher quality.
Psychology Technology Date: March 2018 Source: New Scientist
Artificial Intelligence in Japan is now able to guess what a person sees by analyzing brain scans.
An article in New Scientist states that “the AI is given an image of a person’s brain, taken with an fMRI scanner. The fMRI scanner shows the surges in blood flow that correspond with activity, so the different parts of the brain involved in processing the image light up on the scan. From this, the AI then produces a caption based on what it thinks the person was viewing. For example, one caption it generated was ‘A dog is sitting on the floor in front of an open door,’ which correctly described the scene.”