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The White Male Effect: Why They’re Fearless

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By: Emily Weigold (Bugle Team)

Edited by: Emma Keoy (Bugle Team)

Long told in traditional folk lore, in stories of lands far, far away and in every bestselling Disney movie, men are fearless. Women worry, tremble and fret but men are bold and men ultimately save the day. Although we may now dismiss this as a product of old, patriarchal attitudes, embracing the potential for both fearless heroes and heroines, psychological studies may allude to an element of truth in the intrepid male aesthetic.

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Do Animals Use Language?

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By: Helice Stratton (Bugle Team)

Edited by: Emma Keoy (Bugle Team)

It goes without saying that the media have a habit of exaggerating the findings of scientific papers. If a journal publishes evidence that starlings may be able to statistically analyse segments of speech—similar to how human infants begin segmenting words (Gentner, Fenn, Margoliash et al. 2006)—an article will likely surface claiming in bold, capital letters: “STARLINGS CAN LEARN TO SPEAK??”. It is understandable we’re so excited to find evidence that animals have some kind of language though—aside from lending credence to the Disney films we watched growing up. Logically, language must have evolved somehow, but we don’t yet know how. Did our mouths, throats and brains evolve to accommodate it? Or was it just adapted from pre-existing physical and cognitive systems? Finding buildings blocks for language in other species will give us a deeper understanding of how our own language instinct evolved.

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What Influences Music Taste?

By: Tarisa Tan (Bugle Team)

Have you ever listened to a song so good that you had to stop whatever you were doing and pay your undivided attention to the lyrics or general rhythm? Maybe you even felt goosebumps as you tried to get your groove on. It’s a wonder how music has that effect on us. It’s been the case at both individual and group levels. From Beatlemania to Beliebers, music clearly has the power to unite people. They’ve brought people together over a mutual love for music.

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Is Thought Governed by Language? Determinism Vs Relativity

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By: Chatrin Suksasilp (Bugle Team)

Edited by: Robert Vilkelis (Bugle Team)

One of the more intriguing – if not outright fascinating – claims made by the enterprise of linguistic and anthropological study is that the language you speak determines the thoughts you have. Anyone acquainted with the study of Language would probably recognise this proposition as the Linguistic Determinism or Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis. Dig a little deeper, and you find yourself in a niche of inquiry far more controversial than you’d bargained for.

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Merging Psychology and Neuroscience?

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By Dominika Leitan (Bugle Team)

Psychology as we know it today has only been practiced for around 70 years, which is nothing compared to other scientific fields. In human terms, math is elderly; physics, chemistry and biology are middle-aged, and psychology is essentially a toddler. As a result, we are only now starting to make our first steps towards the ‘right’ approaches to studying the mind.

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Exploring Paranoia: A Character Study of Trevor from The Machinist

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By: Manying Lo (Bugle Team)

Edited by: Robert Vilkelis (Bugle Team)

The harmful effects of sleep deprivation (SD) have been well documented. In terms of cognition, SD can result in slowed response and a worse performance in cognitive tasks (Kerkhof, G & Van Dongen, 2010). However, the effects of sleep deprivation are actually less straightforward than originally believed, not all cognitive functions are affected to the same degree (Kerkhof, G & Van Dongen, 2010). For example, more complex tasks are less affected by SD, possible because they’re more engaging for participants who will put more effort into the task but despite this, decision making can still be affected (Harrison & Horne, 2000). Sleep-deprived individuals also report higher rates of physical complaints, anxiety, depression, and paranoia (Kathe-Greene, Killgore, Kamimori, Balkin, & Killgore, 2007).

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Frighteningly Fun: Why We Enjoy Being Scared

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By: Nudrat Ahmed (Bugle Team)

Do you ever find yourself lying awake in one of your family members’ room, questioning what convinced you to watch that scary movie? What in the world were you thinking when you decided to deliberately put yourself in that vulnerable, frightening, (but oh-so-fun) position?

Psychology may have the answers.

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Trump and ‘Melting Pot America’: On Assimilation and Wellbeing

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By: Emily Weigold (Bugle Team)

The results of the American election at the climax of an eventful campaign period caused great controversy, spreading alarm around the globe in response to Donald Trump’s extreme views on immigration. However, it is important to consider the meaning behind his discourse and how this could affect the lives of immigrants within American communities with regard to their psychological wellbeing.

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Laughter: A coping mechanism?

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By: Bridget Yu (Bugle Team)

Reviewed by: Emma Keoy (Bugle Team)

When we are born, nurses will first make us cry to ensure we know how to breathe. Thus, perhaps crying is important to us. Alongside this, laughter may just be as important as crying. Laughter doesn’t just help us express our feelings but also has communicative functions, such as showing understanding, expressing playful intent or can even be used to relieve stress. Here’s the question ‘WHY do we laugh?’ Is it because we want to express our positive feelings? Do we laugh simply because others are laughing?

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‘Does Social Science Tell the Truth?’- My First Ever Lunch Hour Lecture

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By: Elizaveta Karmannaya (Bugle Team)

Moderated by: Emma Keoy (Bugle Team)

Having only been here for three weeks I already realised that UCL (or uni in general, most likely) is the sort of place where fascinating additional learning opportunities happen every day, but if you want to be part of them you have to research them yourself. By pure chance I found out that UCL does free 40-minute lunch hour lectures. And not only are those open to both postgrad super-minds/PhD-holding geniuses, but also the lost-and-flustered-looking freshers like myself. If you’re someone interested in such a hidden gem, but were unable to attend, or would simply like to hear my much-less-professional re-telling of the story, read on!

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Doubt is Empathy, Trust is Apathy: A Review of Liar Game

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By: Jessica Pu (Bugle Team)

You’ve just received a mysterious package from an obscure organization, along with a letter announcing that you’ve been shortlisted as a candidate for the Liar Game Tournament. You have no idea about what it is, but out of curiosity you open the package and find 1 million dollars. Confused, you find another letter informing you of an opponent who will try to take the 1 million from you and leave you in huge debt. Your opponent happens to be your favourite teacher from back in secondary school. What is your plan?

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Why Your Mom Hates Violent Video Games (And Why She Shouldn’t)

By: Helice Stratton (Bugle Team)

Asking people whether violent video games pass this violence onto their players generates some pretty heated answers. The general feelings of a lot people can be summed up by this viral advert for Electronic Arts’ Dead Space 2:

Lately opinions like this have become rather popular across news media and as an active gamer this tends to annoy me because I rarely see any scientific evidence to back up said opinions.

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Bridging the Gap #4: An Interview with Dr. Anna Hughes

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Interviewer and Transcriber: Aleya Marzuki

Anna Hughes is a Teaching Fellow and researcher at the Faculty of Brain Sciences in UCL. Her research work primarily involves vision perception, where she employs several psychophysical techniques including eyetracking and monitoring.

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Bridging the Gap #3: An Interview with Dr. Rosalind Potts

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Dr. Rosalind Potts is a researcher and Teaching Fellow at UCL based in Chandler House. Her area of interest is learning and memory, and her research aims to identify the conditions which make learning most effective.

Interviewer and Transcriber: Jessica Pu

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Bridging the Gap #2: An Interview with Dr. Frances Knight

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Interviewer and Transcriber: Raphael Hofaecker 

Dr. Frances Knight is a researcher and lecturer at the Institute of Education in UCL. Her current field of work involves investigating the effects of disturbed sleep on the learning and behaviour of children with ADHD.

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