US schools can still beat children, causing psychological harm

According to a press release issued by McGill, UToronto and UMinnesota today, schools that beat their students impair the psychological functioning of the victims. More specifically, the psychological processes affected relate to planning, abstract thinking, and delaying gratification. While the study was undertaken in West Africa, Prof. Stephanie Carlson at uMinnesott points out the shocking relevance of the research for North Americans: “In the U.S., 19 states still allow corporal punishment in schools, although more of them are now asking for parent permission to use it. With this new evidence that the practice might actually undermine children’s cognitive skills needed for self-control and learning, parents and policy makers can be better informed.”

I’m personally much more surprised to learn that American schools can still beat children than the fact that it causes psychological issues. What about you?

Free-year-olds fink fear and fun same fing

Three-year-olds cannot distinguish between happy faces and fearful faces, according to research undertaken by Dr. Catherine Herba of the University of Montreal’s Department of Psychiatry and her colleagues at the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam. The research team tested 808 children using computers and images of expressions, and discovered that the youngsters made systematic errors in emotion-labelling, noting that children of this age were chosen as it is “an age of rapid social and language development.”

Full article: Székely, Eszter; Tiemeier, Henning; Arends, Lidia R.; Jaddoe, Vincent W. V.; Hofman, Albert; Verhulst, Frank C.; Herba, Catherine M., Recognition of facial expressions of emotions by 3-year-olds. Emotion, Vol 11(2), Apr 2011, 425-435. doi: 10.1037/a0022587

Is this fun or freaky? Image: CC licence, D Sharon Pruitt, Pink Sherbet Photography