Talking Dogs And Ending Conversations: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web

A recent study has found that about two-thirds of conversations don’t end when we want them to. Researchers who monitored over 900 conversations found that most people wanted them to finish sooner, though a minority wanted them to continue for longer. This was true whether participants were talking to someone they had just met or a loved one, Adam Mastroianni tells Sean Illing at Vox.

How is lockdown affecting the way people grieve? Dean Burnett looks at the science, and his own personal experience, at New Scientist.

Yet more on dolphin psychology this week: dolphins appear to remember the “names” of those who have co-operated with them previously, reports Virginia Morell at Science. Similar to human names, dolphins have signature whistles which are given to them by their mothers. The researchers played recordings of signature whistles to bottlenose dolphins, finding that the marine mammals almost always turned towards the whistle of a dolphin with whom they had an established alliance.

We’ve written a lot recently about trials into the use of psychedelic drugs to treat depression. But what’s the mechanism behind the purported antidepressant effect of these drugs? Tom Chivers takes a look at Unherd.

Researchers are testing whether a video game used as a treatment for kids with ADHD could help people struggling with memory and attention problems after recovering from COVID-19. The game improves people’s ability to do more than one thing at once, Faith Gunning tells Nicole Wetsman at The Verge, which might prove helpful to COVID-19 survivors.

Although we often hear about the potential risks of certain online communities, they also provide an important source of support. At The Conversation, researcher Benjamin Kaveladze discusses his work highlighting the sense of support, belonging, and validation which mental health forums can provide to young people.

Also at The Conversation: there have been lots of videos of dogs supposedly “talking” to their owners by pressing certain buttons on a board — but are these animals truly communicating? Mélissa Berthet and Léo Migotti outline the reasons to be sceptical.

Compiled by Matthew Warren (@MattBWarren), Editor of BPS Research Digest

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