BLACKS MORE LIKELY TO BE SHOT
Given only a fraction of a second to respond to images of men popping out from behind a garbage dumpster, people were more likely to shoot blacks than whites.
Although the subjects were college students, there is every reason to believe police officers have the same prejudices or psychological perceptions about race as students, according to study leader Anthony Greenwald, a University of Washington psychologist.
"We need to look at what kind of training officers are receiving and what kind of training is needed to eventually overcome race-influenced errors that have resulted in blacks being hugely over-represented among victims of mistaken shootings by police," Greenwald says in the study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
NODDING INFLUENCES YOURSELF
When people nod their head to signal approval or shake their head to show disapproval, it's not just sending a message to others.
"Nodding or shaking your head, as well as other body movements, serve as a kind of 'self-validation' that confirms to us how we feel about our own thoughts," says Richard Petty, co-author of the study and professor of psychology at Ohio State University.
The study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, find nodding doesn't mean people agree with what they hear but rather it strengthens their beliefs.
Thinking negative thoughts while nodding, strengthens disapproval.
FIDELITY, NOT LOOKS MATTER
It's not looks or money that most people seek in an ideal mate, it's life-long fidelity, according to a Cornell University behavioral study.
The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, confirms the "likes-attract" theory -- people tend to look for the same characteristics in others that they see in themselves.
Hoping to learn whether likes attract, students asked their male and female survey subjects to rate the importance they placed on 10 attributes in a long-term partner -- and to rate themselves on the same attributes.
Surprisingly, physical attractiveness is not all that important -- except to people who rate themselves as physically attractive -- the Brad Pitts and Jennifer Annistons of the world.
GOVERNOR CAN'T DO E-MAIL
Iowa's Gov. Tom Vilsack says his inability to use a computer helped lead to the destruction of public records pertaining to a controversial pay plan for a state agency director.
Under the Iowa Open Records Law, The Des Moines Register had asked for e-mail pertaining to using private funds to pay some of the salary of a state employee.
Vilsack said he uses his computer only to check the state's daily financial receipts.
"I'm 52 years old, and I don't know much about technology," Vilsack said. "I don't even know how to send a response to an e-mail, that's how technologically deficient I am."
Vilsack tells The Register he doesn't read e-mail, but has someone print them out for him to read.