on biased cognition, and handware

P5 Glove, cc by-nc image from Roo Reynolds via Flickr
P5 Glove, cc by-nc image from Roo Reynolds via Flickr

‘People generally think their judgments are rational, and their concepts are stable. But if wearing a glove for a few minutes can reverse people’s usual judgments about what’s good and bad, perhaps the mind is more malleable than we thought.’

– Daniel Casasanto on his 2011 study in Psychological Science, When Left is ‘Right’: Motor fluency shapes abstract concepts. doi:10.1177/0956797611401755

toxoplasmania and pregnancy

Cassini relaxing in the protective clutches of Deimos, cc by-nc-sa image from DocOperon via Flickr
Cassini relaxing in the protective clutches of Deimos, cc by-nc-sa image from DocOperon via Flickr

Liz over at the Lifebridge Health Blog prostituted my knowledge for a solid article on the risks of toxoplamosis infection in pregnancy – namely, that there is a far lower risk of mothers acquiring the infection from cats and passing it along to the fetus than many believe.

Few things trigger our fear-brains more than the threat of infections, and few conditions prime us to listen to our fear-brains more than when we are pregnant. This particular fear not only causes social consternation, but can lead to pets being abandoned or dumped for no truly good reason. Liz’s piece is a rational and accurate assessment of the issue.