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Psychology Around the Net: October 5, 2019

This week’s Psychology Around the Net looks at new research involving music and personality traits, learning how to talk to yourself with self-compassion, the possible link between air pollution and violence, and more.

New Psychology Research Links Conservative Music, But Not Rebellious Music, to Maladaptive Personality Traits: According to new research published in Psychology of Music, intense and rebellious music genres — like heavy metal and rap — doesn’t seem to be linked to maladaptive personality traits; however, the research did show some “modest links” between certain other kinds of entertainment media preferences and neurotic, hostile, and eccentric tendencies. Says Pavel S. Blagov, an associate professor of psychology and study author: “In general, some maladaptive traits appear to be linked to the kinds of music and movies people enjoy, but it is important to remember that the links are relatively weak. For example, people who tend to be unusually introverted or withdrawn do not seem to enjoy the kinds of stimulating, upbeat music played at social gatherings or the intense movies from the horror and thriller genres.”

How to Talk to Yourself With Self-Compassion: When you don’t like what others are saying, you can leave. Turn off the TV or radio. Skip the podcast. Hang up the phone. Block the texts. When others are saying things that hurt you, or that you don’t agree with, or that skew your perception, you can stop listening — unless the person saying those things is you. Your inner dialogue is with you always, after all. You can’t escape it, but you can change it. It’s time to check in with your inner dialogue, how it’s making you feel, and alternative, kinder ways to talk to yourself.

Apparently the Secret Depends On How Much Water You Drink: A recent OnePoll study surveyed 2,000 Americans on their water intake and happiness levels: 67% of participants who responded they drink “more than enough” water described themselves as “very happy”; as the amount of water decreased, so did the percentage of happy respondents.

Exposure to Air Pollution Increases Violent Crime Rates: According to new research from Colorado State University, breathing dirty air can make you more aggressive. A team of researchers found links between short-term air pollution exposure and aggressive behavior in the form of assault and other violent crimes after cross-analyzing daily criminal activity (from the Federal Bureau of Investigations), daily county-level air pollution (from the Environmental Protection Agency), and daily wildfire smoke plumes (from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Hazard Mapping System). Says the study’s co-author Jude Bayham: “The story is, when you’re exposed to more pollution, you become marginally more aggressive, so those altercations — some things that may not have escalated — do escalate.”

Ask Dr. NerdLove: How Do I Care For My Partner With PTSD? In this week’s Dr. NerdLove column, dating coach Harris O’Malley helps “Not Just a Caretaker” with some ideas on navigating a relationship with someone who suffers from PTSD as well as points out the importance of the non-PTSD partner having a support network outside of the relationship.

How to Care for Yourself When Dealing With Difficult People: Family members, friends, romantic partners, coworkers — having any kind of relationship with people who are emotionally unwell can be challenging. It’s important to learn that their behaviors aren’t your fault, set boundaries and stick to them, and be confident and consistent in asserting yourself.

Psychology Around the Net: October 5, 2019

Alicia Sparks

Alicia Sparks is a freelance writer and editor and the creator of, where she blogs to help new freelance writers get their quills in the pot, so to speak. Among animal rights, music, and physical wellness, her passions include mental health and advocacy. Here at Psych Central she works as Syndication Editor as well as authors Your Body, Your Mind and World of Psychology's weekly "Psychology Around the Net."

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APA Reference
Sparks, A. (2019). Psychology Around the Net: October 5, 2019. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 28, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 4 Oct 2019 (Originally: 5 Oct 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 4 Oct 2019
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