Research Articles

Can Weather Affect Your Mood?

Friday, August 29th, 2014

weather-affect-mood

As most of the nation suffers through some of the hottest temperatures on record this summer, people are asking the question of how exactly does weather impact our mood. For instance, how does hot weather affect our mood? Does it make us more aggressive — or even more violent?

Does rain make us sad? How about cold temperatures… do they make us feel more like wanting to hunker down, hibernate, and isolate ourselves from others?

Let’s revisit how weather affects our mood and impacts our lives.

Forget the Common Cold! Learn How to Prevent Catching Secondhand Stress

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

hand stop stress bigst

Do you cringe when you see someone get yelled at, hurt, or embarrassed? Do you tend to soak up others’ emotions — especially the feelings of those close to you? A new study has confirmed that “secondhand stress” is a very real thing and that many people catch another person’s stress as easily as the common cold.

For the study, researchers from Saint Louis University set up a situation so that a man had to witness a stranger defend himself after being falsely accused of a wrongdoing. When it was over, the researchers measured the onlooker’s heart rate and cortisol levels and found that, yes, this man took on the stress of a total stranger.

Depressed? You Should Be in Therapy & Taking an Antidepressant

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Depressed? You Should Be in Therapy & Taking an AntidepressantIf you’re like most people with depression, you probably should be engaging in two simultaneous treatments — some type of psychotherapy combined with an antidepressant medication. That is, if you have moderate to severe depression and you’ve had it for less than 2 years.

So says yet another study confirming what we’ve now known for decades… The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, found that you can expect full recovery from such a depressive episode when you employ the full double-barrel of depression treatment.

Yet most people don’t — they opt for one or the other, but not both at the same time. In making this choice, most people are short-changing themselves… And their chances at recovery from depression in a shorter period of time.

Psychology Around the Net: August 16, 2014

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

suicide-prevention-lifeline

This week’s Psychology Around the Net explores suicide and depression, happiness, and finding your life’s purpose.

Robin Williams Death Spotlights The Growing Risk Of Suicides Among Baby Boomers: Not only has Robin Williams’ suicide shined a spotlight on depression and how it can take hold of even those who make us happy, but also it highlights statistics not may are familiar with, such as the suicide rates among middle-aged Americans has climbed 30% in the last decade.

15 Myths About Suicide and Depression: Even though it’s more prevalent than AIDS, cancer, and diabetes combined, many people just don’t understand depression and the suicide risk.

9 Ways to Find Happiness

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

9 Ways to Find HappinessIt may seem self-serving to some to study happiness in a world full of misery. However, research findings support the theory that being happy motivates people to constructive action in the world. So cultivating happiness and well-being influence your energy and enthusiasm.

Happiness is not a static state or a finish line. Emotions provide important information; they direct action and interaction. Negative or painful emotions may be entirely appropriate to a situation and serve to inform intelligent actions. Opportunities for building happiness may be maximized, when appropriate, and often consist of incremental changes that become new habits over time.

Why Do We Find the Words ‘I’m Sorry’ So Rewarding?

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

hugging09a

Have you ever been hurt by an unapologetic person? Most of us have. When this happens, it hurts, but we intuitively know the importance of forgiving the person anyway — for our own sake — simply to free ourselves from the heavy burden of resentment.

But still, we deeply crave the words “I’m sorry.” These simple words have the power to deliver nearly instant relief and help us drop our guard. Why is this? What exactly goes on in the heads (and hearts) of people who are at the receiving end of “I’m sorry?”

The One Trait that Predicts Sexual Satisfaction in Long-Term Couples

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

The Value of Human TouchThink a satisfying sex life in a long-term relationship is kind of an anomaly? Sure, people pretend it exists because it makes for good romantic comedies and keeps us married folks somewhat hopeful of our futures. But it’s not actually a “thing” in real life, right?

Well — yes and no. It is far too common for sexual satisfaction in long-term relationships to take a nosedive. The good news is, we know what to do about it. The bad news is many people are too lazy and complacent to do it. (As a couples therapist, I see this often.)

3 Creative Ways to Combat the Blues

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

3 Creative Ways to Combat the Blues Often, stress, disappointments, and mundane realities of everyday life plague our inner worlds so much that it’s difficult to experience positive emotions such as joy, peace, and spontaneity. Unfortunately, it becomes a vicious cycle.

The negative emotions build up even more, sapping our mental and physical energies to the point where it’s a challenge just to get through our daily routines. Our bodies become just as blunted as our spirits. Happily, though, there are three easy and inspiring activities that can help us beat the blues and increase our general well-being.

Psychology Around the Net: August 9, 2014

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

sleeping blck woman

This week’s Psychology Around the Net is all about older adults and sleep, depressed children, and — thank goodness — tips for happiness!

How Sleep Changes as You Age, and Why You’ll Need Even More of It: As we get older, we don’t sleep as much as when we were younger; however, as our bodies change, we need that sleep. Learn more about this Catch-22.

Pope Francis Issues Top 10 Tips for Happiness: Our favorites? Could be a tie between “live and let live” and have a “healthy sense of leisure.”

StubHub Increases Sales By Playing To A Simple Game Of Psychology With “All In Pricing”: Find out how the major ticket re-seller’s “All In Pricing” method has increased sales and, as Chief Marketing Officer Michael Lattig puts it, works to offer the “best experience possible.”

Eating Disorders in Men

Friday, August 8th, 2014

eatingAccording to the National Eating Disorder Association, 10 million males in the United States will suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some point in their lives.

That number is staggering. Even more startling is the fact that men who battle eating disorders are significantly less likely than women to reach out for help.

Body Position, Learning and Memory

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Seeing ThingsLots of factors can influence how well you can learn, remember, and perceive the things around you — even the position of your body. For example, if you see someone pinch a fake hand near where your hand is positioned, you may think you feel real pain in your hand. We naturally pay more attention to objects close to our hands, too.

Christopher Davoli, James Brockmole, and Annabelle Goujon wondered if the location of our hands can also affect how we remember and learn visual information, so they designed a task to test that question.

Would Your Life Be Better if You Owned More Things?

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

Would Your Life Be Better if You Owned More Things?

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. ~ Oprah Winfrey

Materialists are those who have a central life focus on acquiring more things. They often relate their happiness directly to their possessions while declaring these goods as both the main source of life satisfaction and a symbol of their success in life. The answer they give to the above question is a resounding “yes” — More is always better for the materialist. But does accumulating stuff make them happy?

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