This week’s interesting links…

Image c/o Jenny Kristina Nilsson on Flickr.

Psychologists investigate a major, ignored reason for our lack of sleep – bedtime procrastination. Commentary piece exploring research conducted in The Netherlands on sleep habits and self-control. Over 2000 people were surveyed for this study (aged from 16-93) and all participants were free from medical sleep disorders or night shift jobs. The study found that over 50% believed they didn’t get sufficient sleep on two or more nights a week. You can read the full research paper here (remember to login in with your Athens account!). (Research Digest)

The internet of things – the next big challenge to our privacy. An article looking at the possible impact upon individual privacy of the so-called “internet of things” (where all physical “things” are connected via the internet). In a post-NSA world, what are the implications of the “age of pervasive computing”? (A further article of interest, “The rise of data and the death of politics” looks at the impact a data-based approach to governance would have on our democratic systems of governance.) (Both articles: The Guardian)

Why the Security of USB Is Fundamentally Broken. Do you still USB sticks? In the age of cloud storage, declining numbers of people persist in using USB sticks but many people still use them (I still do!). Two security researchers have highlighted the weakeness of security systems on USB sticks demonstrating the ability to install malware on a USB stick that can effectively take over a user’s computer whilst the attack code remains hidden. The researchers intend to release “proof-of-concept” tools on their website next week. (Wired)

Visitors and residents: a new typology for online engagement. Research I used in the presentation I delivered last week investigating how people interact with the internet. The researchers suggest that there are two main types of appraoch to internet use: ‘visitors’ (who drop in, get what they need and go) and ‘residents’ (who see the internet as more of a social space). Rather than boxes for individuals, they are either ends of a spectrum upon which people may be placed (ie they may display ‘visitor’ characteristics but also be inclined towards using some spaces socially). (First Monday)

Why Psychologists’ Food Fight Matters. Article by Michelle N. Meyer (professor of bioethics) and Christopher Chabris (psychology professor at Union College and co-author of The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us) on the ongoing replication debate in psychology and how it could encourage “good science”. (Slate)

Psychology Comes To Halt As Weary Researchers Say The Mind Cannot Possibly Study Itself. Here’s a good lesson in spotting what is to be trusted online and what isn’t! The Onion is an online satirical magazine that has often published stories or corrupted content that have been mistaken as factual. In covering a magazine called “Tiger Beat”, for example, The New York Times once mistook a parody cover created by The Onion and featuring President Obama, as the real thing! (See correction at the end of their piece here – there are more examples here.) It just goes to show, be extra careful with anything you find online, even if it appears to be by a reputable source! Always double check for the actual origins of any information you find. As for the story itself, it is, of course, a parody – the psychology community has (thankfully!) not been dissolved! (The Onion)


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