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Jun 03 2013

Monday Miscellany

Morning! Pour yourself some coffee and click these links.

This week in really cool science: People with anorexia move as if they’re their perceived size. While it’s obviously just one study, could a test like this be used as a screening tool? It gets at the cognitive side, rather than relying on the (mostly behavioral) side of determination we use now.
-Scientific American article and podcast
-Actual research article

Speaking of science, let’s talk about false positives and unreproducible results.

Also, anti-obesity campaigns and people with disordered eating. Not always a great combination.

People who need certainty are contributing to the RUIN OF SOCIETY. Basically.

Here’s a reason the world’s tumbling into ruin: if you want to be a popular pundit, it’s far better to be certain than accurate.  That’s right; more people will listen to a person who is factually wrong but confident over a guy who’s accurate but honest.

There are days I despair for the world, because our tiny monkey brains are forever seeking out shit that’s bad for them: sugar. Sex.  And certainty.  Basically, it’s a terrifying thing to think that this universe is full of so many factors that no one, literally no one, can predict what’s going to happen next with any confidence, and so we’ll happily listen to awful pundits who fill us up with the lie that yeah, someone knows, and it’s me.

Should we seculars have man-free events? My friend Robby mulls it over.
(Embarrassing fact: The first time I read this I, admittedly, scanned it before work. Which meant that I read the intro and the bolded topics. Which meant that I concluded that Robby must be anti-women’s-spaces. Which means that it was a very good thing that Chana sent me back to read it again. I’ve packed humble pie for lunch today.)

I’m updating my reader today–post below if you have a blog :)

2 comments

  1. 1
    cortex

    What an interesting demonstration of situated cognition (the anorexia link)! Back when I took abnormal psych, they apparently took for granted that the tendency of people with anorexia to wear oversized clothing was an attempt to conceal weight loss, but this suggests that it might have something to do with body perception instead.

  2. 2
    scienceofeds

    From my experience, some AN patients prefer to wear tight clothes while others prefer to wear baggy clothes. I’m not sure where the whole notion that they prefer to wear oversized clothes to hide weight loss came from, to be honest. Some do, but many others do it because they 1. feel they are that size and/or 2. because they hate the sensation of tight clothes or 3. a myriad of other reasons. I personally tend to wear tight clothes at low weights/during AN and oversized clothes at higher weights.

    In my experience, I would not be able to say which reason predominates. Moreover, the reasons change during the course of the illness and in various contexts (are you around people who will comment positively or negatively on your thinness, for example, and so on). I’m sure many wore oversized clothes to hide weight loss from *clinicians*, but that’s not really representative, is it

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