...features

Marco Bertamini has some surprising reflections

Mirrors are familiar objects, but even simple questions about what they make visible to an observer are unexpectedly hard to answer correctly. Even harder is to think or judge what is happening on...

Hyunjin Song and Norbert Schwarz describe some fascinating findings on how fluency affects judgement, choice and processing style

Thinking can feel easy or difficult. But what effect does the ease or difficulty of reading a text have on information processing? Can something as seemingly irrelevant as the print font in which...

Narinder Kapur and Barbara A. Wilson outline 15 ‘pillars’ to support you.

Excellence as a scientific concept has seldom been the subject of academic scrutiny. This article describes a framework for excellence that can be related to areas of applied psychology. Fifteen ‘...

Fabian A. Davis on the secret ingredient that enables people to ‘bounce’ back as active citizens.

As a clinical psychologist working primarily from a therapeutic perspective, I have always kept a second string to my bow. In the 1980s it was community psychology and more recently it has been...

David Carew, Richard Birkin and David Booth on what the government’s Department for Work and Pensions is doing.

The development of the social exclusion concept has recognised that employment plays an important part. The importance of employment in this context has long been recognised by the UK government...

Catherine Sholl, Juan Korkie and Dave Harper outline some ways to address discrimination in this key group.

Mental health service users are one of the most socially excluded groups in society. Surveys indicate that younger people have less understanding of their own and others’ mental health. In this...

Geoff Shepherd on the demand for and availability of mental health services in prison.

Prisons are full of socially excluded people with mental health problems. They are also caught between demands for public safety and the ambition to ‘rehabilitate’ offenders. If psychologists are...

Fabian A. Davis talks to Naomi Eisenstadt, then Director of the Government’s Social Exclusion Task Force

Up until her retirement last September, Naomi Eisenstadt was Director of the Social Exclusion Task Force at the Cabinet Office. She was responsible for the delivery of the socially excluded adults...

Mark Hayward, Elizabeth Holford and Peter Kinderman introduce the special issue, which addresses how we can help those who are being left behind

Is there such a thing as society? Do we have a collective responsibility towards people who may be excluded from the social settings/circles where we feel valued? Articles within this special...

Steven Livingstone on difficult paths and last taboos in Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina

Lauren Stewart on amusia, and the window it provides on musical development

Listening to music is effortless and highly rewarding for most of us. But people with congenital amusia have life-long difficulties in this regard – they don’t recognise tunes that would be...

Jane Davidson, Robert Faulkner and Gary McPherson on how to create the right conditions to take our natural interest in music to the next level

Music is an absorbing and stimulating activity. In the West, listening is the major form of engagement, with the many cognitive and motor skills associated with musical instrument playing being...

Victoria Williamson compares two human universals

Comparing language and music is a tradition inherited from Aristotle and Darwin. The aim of the game is to learn more about how we interact with our auditory environment by understanding why...

Pam Heaton on what the understanding of emotion in music amongst those with autism could tell us about its functions and role in genera

Theoretical accounts have often assumed that emotion recognition abilities in music are the same as those in understanding social-emotional cues, for example in faces and voices. Individuals with...

Susan Hallam on the nature and importance of musical ability

Music psychology has a long history dating back to the end of the 19th century. It is a distinctive strand of psychology that has grown in strength over the years with researchers in the UK...

Adrian C. North and David J. Hargreaves introduce the special issue with a look at how music psychology is changing in the digital era

The digital revolution has led to music being increasingly integrated into the stream of daily life. This in turn has led to researchers showing greater interest in the effects of music on a wide...

Wendy Iredale and Mark Van Vugt look at the Darwinian psychology of helping and generosity

Could Darwinian sexual selection help us understand altruism towards strangers? We propose that altruism may be used as a ‘peacock’s tail’ to attract females. We argue that altruism is an...

Daniel Nettle looks to an unexpected source for answers

One of the most striking things about humans is that they behave in different ways in different places. You don’t need to travel to an exotic location to see this: just stroll through different...

Lisa DeBruine examines how evolutionary theories led to predictions that non-evolution-minded researchers would never dream of

In The Origin of Species Darwin (1859) wrote, ‘In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary...

Mark H. Johnson, winner of the Society’s Presidents’ Award 2008, describes the emerging field of developmental cognitive neuroscience

Developmental cognitive neuroscience has recently emerged as a new interdisciplinary field that seeks to understand how the physical development of the brain relates to the huge changes in...

Top psychologists help us to celebrate the 150th e-mail issue of the Society’s Research Digest

Taking A-level psychology seriously; in defence of empiricism; and much more

Brian Haig advocates ‘inference to the best explanation’, a method used by Darwin and of relevance for theory appraisal in psychology

Explanatory theories in psychology are usually evaluated by employing the hypothetico-deductive method and testing them for their predictive accuracy. The purpose of this short article is to bring...

Could the most human of qualities owe their existence to tiny, mindless organisms? Justin H. Park and Mark Schaller investigate

Parasites have had profound effects on human evolution. Recent research implicates the existence of a set of psychological adaptations that serve as a first line of behavioural defence against...

Sophia E. Shaw, Ellen Nye, Joanna Jamel & Heather D. Flowe ask whether the media function as disseminators of knowledge or misinformation?

Psychologists often find their research reported in the popular press. In this article, a recent case is discussed in which the media misrepresented the findings from a study that examined factors...