Writing Out Feelings Helps, But Not for Asthma

Writing Out Feelings Helps, But Not for Asthma

Although expressing ones emotions through writing has numerous documented health benefits, it appears to do little to ease asthma, new study findings show.

This research contradicts an earlier, but smaller, study that found that people with asthma breathed more easily after writing about stressful experiences than after writing about neutral subjects.

However, in the latest report in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, Dr. Alex H. S. Harris and his colleagues found that asthmatics showed no noticeable improvement after writing...
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Health and Happiness Aren’t Always Linked

Health and Happiness Aren't Always Linked (NY Times, free reg. req'd)

Are healthy people happier than seriously ill ones? Not necessarily.

In a study described in The Journal of Experimental Psychology, a group of people with end-stage kidney failure were provided with electronic devices that prompted them to record their moods at various times throughout the day. For comparison, a group of healthy volunteers used the same devices.

When researchers tabulated the results, they found that the levels of happiness were about the same for the...
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Study associates alcohol use patterns with Body Mass Index

Study associates alcohol use patterns with Body Mass Index

The body mass index (BMI) of individuals who drink alcohol may be related to how much, and how often, they drink, according to a new study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). In an analysis of data collected from more than 37,000 people who had never smoked, researchers found that BMI was associated with the number of drinks individuals consumed on the days they drank....
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Using the internet’s power and anonymity to reduce problem drinking

Using the internet's power and anonymity to reduce problem drinking

Computers, and the internet, have become an integral part of North American life, whether located at home, school or the workplace. At least 80 percent of internet "surfers" in the United States have reportedly used the internet to access health information. Symposium proceedings published in the February issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research describe several alcohol interventions – based on in-person brief motivational interventions (BMIs) – that are currently offered via the...
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Murder, eyewitness identification and the limits of human vision

Murder, eyewitness identification and the limits of human vision

Geoffrey Loftus' latest research reads more like a murder mystery than a scientific paper.

The University of Washington psychologist's new study opens with a savage beating and murder on the streets of Fairbanks, Alaska. It features cameo appearances by Julia Roberts and other celebrities. It ends with the conviction of two men based on the eyewitness identification of the defendants from a distance of 450 feet. And, in a post-script, an appeals court orders a new...
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Despite Zoloft Defense, Teenager Is Convicted of Murder

Despite Zoloft Defense, Teenager Is Convicted of Murder (NY Times, free reg. req'd)

A teenager who killed his grandparents when he was 12 was found guilty of murder today after the jury rejected the defense's claim that the antidepressant Zoloft had caused the boy's violence.

In front of sobbing family members the teenager, Christopher Pittman, now 15, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for slaying his grandparents, Joe and Joy Pittman, who had brought him to live with them in Chester County, after...
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Do opposites attract or do birds of a feather flock together?

Do opposites attract or do birds of a feather flock together?

Results show that couples were highly similar on attitudes and values; however, they had little or no above-chance similarity on personality-related domains such as attachment, extraversion, conscientiousness and positive or negative emotions. There is no evidence that opposites attract. What is most intriguing is that when the researchers assessed marital quality and happiness, they found that personality similarity was related to marital satisfaction, but attitude similarity was not.

"However, once people are in...
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Falling in Love in Three Minutes or Less

Falling in Love in Three Minutes or Less

It seems that the heart wants what the heart wants -- and it can figure it out fairly quickly, according to evolutionary psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania. The researchers studied dating data from 10,526 anonymous participants of HurryDate, a company that organizes "speed dating" sessions, and found rare behavioral data on how people genuinely act in dating situations.

"Some people say they're looking for one kind of person, then choose another. Other...
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Internet dating much more successful than thought

Internet dating much more successful than thought

Internet dating is proving a much more successful way to find long-term romance and friendship for thousands of people than was previously thought, new research shows.

A new study of online dating site members has found that when couples who had built up a significant relationship by e-mailing or chatting online met for the first time, 94 per cent went on to see each other again.

Perhaps surprisingly, the study, by Dr Jeff Gavin, of the University of Bath,...
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Filming of bridge suicides raises stir

Filming of bridge suicides raises stir

But with alarming regularity, the cameras also captured a more disturbing reality: the final anguished moments of troubled souls hurling themselves over the edge.

The footage, recorded over the course of a year by a filmmaker, showed more than two dozen suicides -- generating controversy about the ethics and morality of the film project and reigniting the push for a barrier to thwart bridge jumpers.

''It's not as simple as throwing up a fence," said Maureen Middlebrook, president of...
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Why Do We Overcommit?

Why Do We Overcommit?

If your appointment book runneth over, it could mean one of two things: Either you are enviably popular or you make the same faulty assumptions about the future as everyone else. Psychological research points to the latter explanation. Research by two business-school professors reveals that people over-commit because we expect to have more time in the future than we have in the present. Of course, when tomorrow turns into today, we discover that we are too busy to do everything...
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Canada Regulators Order ADD Drug Withdrawn

Canada Regulators Order ADD Drug Withdrawn

Canadian regulators ordered a drug for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder off the market late Wednesday because of reports that it has been linked to 20 sudden deaths and a dozen strokes, including some among children.

The Food and Drug Administration, however, said it had evaluated the same reports and doesn't believe the data warranted such action in the United States. In a statement late Wednesday, Health Canada said it is asking makers of related stimulants used to treat...
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