Cartoons might seem like nothing more than a fun way to pass the time. Presumably, though, children who watch cartoons are integrating the things they see into how they view the world, as they do with more or less everything they encounter. That realization that cartoons can shape children’s attitudes is probably part of the…

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Abstract art might seem random or lacking coherence at first glance, but psychologists are weighing in with evidence that there really is a method in the chaos. A new study suggests that people without any special artistic experience tend to make similar aesthetic judgments about abstract paintings. In the study, researchers showed 40 participants abstract…

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Some pictures have the power to evoke a sense of peace and relaxation in us. Seeking out that feeling is what’s behind Project Soothe, in which psychology researchers at University of Edinburgh are compiling a database of soothing pictures. The researchers have been accepting soothing images from the general public, then adding those images to…

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For centuries, people have puzzled over the Mona Lisa’s enigmatic expression. In recent years, psychology researchers have joined in with their own theories, even debating fundamental questions such as whether Mona Lisa’s facial expression indicates happiness or sadness. The latest contribution to the “Mona Lisa studies” branch of psychology comes from a paper titled Unraveling…

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