Research Articles

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?

Ted Stanley Donates $650 Million to Psychiatric Research

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Ted Stanley Donates $650 Million to Psychiatric ResearchWow. Just wow.

Nobody has ever donated so much money dedicated to better understanding the foundations of mental illness.

The gift, announced earlier this week, is being made by Ted Stanley to his Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute to support its ongoing — and new — research into the genetic and molecular basis of psychiatric disorders.

How to Use Self-Talk to Improve Performance

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

How to Use Self-Talk to Improve PerformanceDo you ever talk to yourself? Although it’s not always a conscious habit, most of us practice self-talk on a daily basis, as a way of guiding, motivating or supporting ourselves.

Maybe you’re heading to the store and start running through a list of all the items you need to buy. Or perhaps you’re trying to get through a particularly challenging task at work and find yourself whispering something like “Come on, focus, you can do this.”

Suspicious Things Really Make Us ‘Smell Something Fishy’

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

cbs_news_nose_jobWhen we say “Fred is a warm person,” we don’t usually mean his body temperature is hotter than average. We use metaphors such as “warm”, “high”, and “clean” to describe more abstract concepts like “friendly,” “powerful,” and “morally sound.”

So we mean that Fred is friendly, not that he has a fever. But these metaphors can actually have a powerful effect on behavior and attitudes as well. Research has shown that holding a cup of warm coffee makes people more affectionate, and portraying people in physically high locations makes them seem more powerful.

Now newer research is beginning to find that these metaphors are much more common than we might imagine — and that they work in both directions, from abstract emotions and concepts to concrete things, and back.

Join the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation in DC on Sept. 16

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Join the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation in DC on Sept. 16

The Brain & Behavior Research …

The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Police

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction PoliceMindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was first presented 36 years ago by Jon Kabat-Zinn in the Pain Clinic of the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Since then, tens of thousands of patients have benefited from mindfulness training by taking classes that adhere to, and classes that are similar to, the MBSR program.

Today, variants of the program have sprung up at leading medical centers worldwide. This has led many to wonder how mindfulness should be best taught as a medical intervention, and by whom?

Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 Hour Rule is Proven Bunk

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 Hour Rule is Proven BunkAh, poor Malcolm Gladwell. Apparently research has caught up to one of his proclamations that people needed about 10,000 hours of practice to become an amazing expert in that field. Never mind that he based his proclamation largely on a single study of musicians from 1993.

His Outliers book is full of such nonsense, as I noted in 2008 after the book was published. It’s filled with obvious platitudes… such as the fact that success often takes luck as much as it does practice — and social advantage.

Now, new research has put the final nail into the coffin of Gladwell’s slick and silly 10,000 hour rule. The new research shows, in my opinion, that the 10,000 rule is nothing more than bunk.

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