Tagged: Psychological

Anti-Vaccination In NZ - Skepticon

Darcy Cowan Nov 01, 2010

As promised here’s my first entry for “Vaccine Awareness Week”, I thought I would take a little look at Anti-vaccination in New Zealand. In particular the  Immunisation Awareness Society. This organisation has set itself up as pro-choice on the subject of vaccination but this is essentially a thin smokescreen for their anti-vaccination views. Here, rather [...] … Read More

Vaccine Awareness Week - Skepticon

Darcy Cowan Oct 27, 2010

Thanks to the incomparable Orac over at Respectful Insolence we here at Sciblogs have been made aware of an effort by Anti-Vax proponents to have their own consciousness raising week. The haven of anti science that is Mercola.com is promoting November 1st-6th as “Vaccine Awareness Week”. Like the “World Homeopathy Awareness Week” earlier this year [...] … Read More

Gamblers Rewarded by Near Misses - Skepticon

Darcy Cowan Oct 22, 2010

Earlier this year a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience looked at the brains of compulsive gamblers and concluded that when the the gamblers suffered “near-miss” losses their brains reacted as if they had won. Another study published slightly later in the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behaviour also looked at the brains [...] … Read More

A Skeptic’s Perspective — Repost - Skepticon

Darcy Cowan Oct 18, 2010

After Friday’s unabashed rant on things magical and absurd I felt it would be good to post a more level headed and rational piece. This post from a couple of years ago caught my eye at the right time and given the popularity of reposting I decided it was worth another outing: A less formal [...] … Read More

Complexity and Health — A Rant - Skepticon

Darcy Cowan Oct 14, 2010

To shamelessly butcher a great H2G2 quote: Biology is complicated. Really complicated. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly complicated it is. I mean you may think it’s complicated to do the morning crossword, but that’s just peanuts to biology. This may seem trivially obvious, I mean we don’t compare things to brain surgery [...] … Read More

Delayed Gratification = Success? - Skepticon

Darcy Cowan Aug 10, 2010

Today we are going to step into the time machine and go back 21 years to 1989. It was in this year that the study to become known as the “Marshmallow experiment” was published. Performed by Walter Mischel at Stanford University this experiment showed an amazing thing, that testing a child’s self-control at 4yrs could [...] … Read More

Pharmacy Customers Perception of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Pharmacies - Skepticon

Darcy Cowan Aug 05, 2010

Going through the papers cluttering my inbox I found this survey of Australian pharmacy customers relating to their use of CAM and their impressions of how pharmacists should approach the subject. Regular readers of Sciblogs may remember a kerfuffle earlier in the year regarding the sale of homeopathic remedies in pharmacies, I and others were [...] … Read More

Randomness and Clustering: Is the Number of Twins in Timaru a Mystery? - Skepticon

Darcy Cowan Aug 04, 2010

If you saw 3 News last night you might have caught the story about the bumper crop of twins born this year. The prologue to the story gave the impression of a mystery with words to the effect of  “Experts are at a loss to explain it”, I personally think this was a sloppy attempt [...] … Read More

Is there a Biochemical Marker for Suicide? - Skepticon

Darcy Cowan Jul 26, 2010

Suicide is a sensitive subject, by it’s very nature it seems we are obliged to treat it with kid gloves. In public it is virtually taboo to even mention suicide, in news media euphemisms are employed in order to avoid explicit use of the “S” word. Attitudes are beginning to change, with more vocal discussion [...] … Read More

The Risky Business of Hunger - Skepticon

Darcy Cowan Jul 16, 2010

We like to think of ourselves as rational actors when it comes to making decisions, we take in information, process it and choose the path that we think will lead to a desirable outcome (if we aren’t deep-seated masochists I suppose). Regular readers of this blog and others that espouse a sceptical viewpoint will know [...] … Read More