Research Articles

Psychology Around the Net: December 20, 2014

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

woman armfull books bigst

From holiday gift ideas to dealing with our bosses’ bad moods, today’s Psychology Around the Net is sure to keep you on the edge of your seats!

The Best Psychology Books of 2014: The Guardian writer Lisa Appignanesi provides a list of six of the best psychology books over the past year. (HINT: You might even get one or two holiday gift ideas from this one!)

The Best Christmas Gift Ever: Finding Blessings in Challenges: Speaking of holiday gifts, oftentimes some of our greatest blessings come from our greatest challenges. When have you faced a challenge that turned around and offered you a gift?

Studies Show We Find Stressed Out People Less Attractive

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Ability to Manage Everyday Stress Key to Future Health SS

Your libido, appearance and more things that take a hit when you’re feeling too overwhelmed.

If being stressed out of your mind didn’t feel bad enough, there’s a study that will make you want to chill the eff out even more: Researchers discovered that men find stressed out women less attractive.

After men rated women’s faces for attractiveness, the study found that the prettiest faces consistently belonged to the women with the lowest levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

Psychology Around the Net: November 13, 2014

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

mindful-ways-minimize-holiday-stress

Check out this week’s Psychology Around the Net for information on mindfulness during the holidays, beating stress at work, making insecurity work for you (yes, you read that correctly!), and more.

3 Ways to Embrace Your Need for Solitude and Quiet Time: The holidays are a great time for this lesson on fear, guilt, and mindset.

5 Tips for Coping With Stress at Work Starting First Thing in the Morning: You’ve probably heard them all, but what would happen if you actually started practicing them?

Study: Reversing Alzheimer’s Memory Decline With Holistic Therapy

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Old Couple

A new UCLA study has found that when individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) switched to a healthy diet and exercise program, their memory and cognitive function began to return in a dramatic way. In fact, six out of the 10 patients who had been struggling in their jobs, or had even quit due to cognitive dysfunction, were able to return to work.

The results are both fascinating and hopeful for the millions of people suffering with AD and for those who have yet to develop symptoms.

Alzheimer’s is now the third leading cause of death in the U.S., after cardiovascular disease and cancer. Currently, there is no cure for AD, and medications only temporarily lessen symptoms.

Psychology Around the Net: December 6, 2014

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

coping-holidays-mental-illness

Happy December, sweet readers!

This week’s Psychology Around the Net brings you information on holiday stress, naked selfies (what?!), improving your fitness, and more.

Enjoy!

6 Signs You’re Too Stressed About the Holidays: Do you dread parties? Are you afraid of disappointing others? What about extra resentfulness or forgetfulness? These signs and more could be indicators you’re way too stressed out about the holidays.

The Social Psychology of the Naked Selfie: Why do people keep taking naked photos and storing them in places where they know there’s a potential for hacking?

Tips to Ease Relationship Tensions

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

Tips to Ease Relationship TensionsI came home after a dinner with friends to hungry cats, wet laundry still in the washing machine, and muddy footprints tracked across the carpet.

I was tired. And I felt my tension rise. I’d expected those chores to be covered.

He had been out in the yard, digging a French drain to keep the crawl space from drawing too much rainwater during the winter storms.

He was tired from the wet, dirty work. He’d expected me to be pleased by the effort.

By the time we sorted through missed expectations, we were both impatient and irritated. We didn’t feel like talking — probably good because neither of us felt like listening, either.

Psychology Around the Net: November 29, 2014

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

Shoe shopping

This week’s Psychology Around the Net covers ways to keep your sanity during seasonal shopping, learning how to motivate yourself by pretending your life is a movie (wow!), and even tips on how to read and interpret others’ facial expressions…and act accordingly.

Enjoy!

Black Friday Prep: Crowd Psychology Can Help You Hang Onto Budget: Yes, we realize Black Friday is over, but you can still keep your sanity this shopping season! Check out these seasonal shopping tips on avoiding spending hype, including setting goals and making lists; choosing the right shopping buddy; and the negative social influence you can avoid by shopping online.

Women in Positions of Power Show More Signs of Depression Than Men: Recent research from the University of Texas at Austin suggests women climbing the work success ladder show more signs of depression than do their male counterparts.

How to Build a New Habit — And Make it Stick

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

How to Build a New Habit and Make it StickAre you a master of a skill?

Perhaps you’re fluent in a language. A world-class pianist. A master craftsman in carpentry.

If you are, it’s not necessarily a result of your income, personal circumstances, upbringing, or any other variable. It’s a result of something a lot more powerful, something you have complete control over. It’s a result of habit.

Moods & Seasons

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Moods and SeasonsFootball. School supplies. Changing leaves. Cooling temperatures. These are a few of the things I love about fall. I also tend to feel calmer and more relaxed when autumn rolls around. Summer feels so brash, intense and bright. Fall somehow feels softer. Perhaps it’s because of the change in light.

New research led by Alison Jing Xu from the University of Toronto-Scarborough shows just how sensitive we are to bright light. In a brighter space, people in the experiment felt warmer, wanted spicier food, found others more aggressive, and even had a stronger reaction to words.

7 Habits of Highly Defective People

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

The Seven Habits of Highly Defective PeopleAfter you have known people for a while, you realize they are defective. They’re cheap, crude, pushy, ignorant, loud, and unattractive. How did this happen? How did people who seemed so elegant and gregarious become the varmint-like creatures you want to avoid? What made them change into the dirty froth of humanity right before your eyes? Believe it or not, science has done some research on this phenomenon.

Highly defective people (HDP) have several common characteristics that reveal themselves over time. Their habits astound and mystify us. They might look different on the outside, but on the inside they are very much alike. They share common attributes that make them a kindred clan. One or two of these traits alone wouldn’t qualify them, but with a cluster of seven, you are in the presence of a HDP. In no particular order, here’s what to look for:

Psychology Around the Net: November 8, 2014

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

books-to-spark-creativity

This week’s Psychology Around the Net features information about the psychology of storytelling, how we recognize foreign accents, using technology to treat pet anxiety, and more!

Dig in!

The Psychological Comforts of Storytelling: Stories help us feel like we have control over chaos and give meaning to our lives.

WATCH: The Psychology of Accents: Ever wonder how our brains recognize foreign accents? What about how we even develop accents? BrainCraft explores the science behind these questions and more.

Was Skinner Wrong? Operant Conditioning & Down-Voting in Online Communities

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Was Skinner Wrong? Operant Conditioning & Down-Voting in Online CommunitiesPsychologists have long known that while B.F. Skinner is a founding father of behavioral psychology, some of the foundations he built his theories upon haven’t held up under the scrutiny of modern research.

One of Skinner’s core contributions to modern psychology was a theory called “operant conditioning.” In it, he believed that people could be motivated by four different types of stimuli: negative or positive reinforcement and negative or positive punishment.

Unfortunately, a lot of developers build online tools, services and frameworks that put their pop psychology beliefs into practice. So what did the researchers find when they examined the use of two of Skinner’s most popular operant conditioning tools in a few large online communities?

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