BPS Update

The British Psychological Society (BPS) update their Research Digest blog every week, edited by Dr Christian Jarrett, with new and exciting research being undertaken in all areas of psychology.

This week in the Digest, some interesting research was taken from Developmental Psychology. Robert Hepach and colleagues studied altruism in almost 100 two-year-olds, and found that the toddlers got the same amount of pleasure from helping others as when they helped themselves.

The toddler was asked to help the researchers to get the lid off a box. A clothes peg to help the researchers peg up washing, a marble for the toddler to play with or useless plastic was inside. The reaction was as positive for the peg as it was for the marble, judging by the elevated posture and smiles on the toddlers’ faces.

Considering that the toddlers were hoping for a marble, it is even more remarkable that they overcame the disappointment of finding a clothes peg to be happy to help the researchers.

The overall conclusion from this research is a positive one, that people are either born helpful or at least develop altruism at a young age.

In other news, Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy focus on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and a recent study in NeuroImage is mentioned looking at brain activity predicting chocolate sales.

If you feel like reading more, check out the Research Digest on the BPS website and sign up for weekly emails. They also have an app which is free for Android and iOS users which updates daily!Jess Bishop

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