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Humans

New World’s oldest dog may have been dinner, plus worrisome PTSD and artful dodging in this week’s news

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4:47pm, May 16, 2011
Scoring with evasive answers
Deftly dodging questions pays off — just ask successful politicians. That’s because people often don’t notice when someone avoids a question by talking about a similar topic, say Harvard psychologists Todd Rogers and Michael Norton. Listeners focus more on whether they like a speaker than on the content of a response, the researchers find. Detection of question dodging shoots up when listeners are told to pay attention to the relevance of a videotaped speaker’s answers to questions or if queries are displayed on-screen during answers, the researchers report in an upcoming Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. —Bruce Bower


Oldest New World dog
DNA extracted from a 9,200-year-old skull fragment previously excavated in a Texas cave confirms that the bone comes from the oldest known dog in the New World, not a product of interbreeding between dogs and wolv
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