Empathy: Women Better Under Stress But Men Worse When men are stressed they become more self-centred and less able to read the emotions and intentions of others, while under stress women become less self-centred. The effects of stress on women are a surprise finding from a new study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology. (Tomova et al., 2014) The researchers set out with the idea that stress would make everyone more self-centred since, when stressed, we don’t have the cognitive resources to think about others.One of the study’s authors, Claus Lamm explains: “Our starting hypothesis was that stressed individuals tend to … Continue reading Do women rely more on others than men?
The Power of Cursing When Practicing Affirmations Why do people use cursing in their everyday language? Perhaps many people see it as a sign of immaturity, but a recent study shows that cursing can sometimes help relieve pain and stress. Often times, people use cursing to express passion and excitement. It doesn’t always have to be seen as a negative thing, and plenty of smart and respectful people use cursing every now and then. However, one thing is for certain: cursing grabs our attention and makes us focus. And we can use this fact to our advantage in our own … Continue reading Cursing makes you focus
New Insights into Cooperation Game theory has repeatedly confirmed the human tendency to help others, even when helping is costly. The Prisoner’s Dilemma is one of the most popular demonstrations of cooperation. Though behavior in the Prisoner’s Dilemma has long been observed, studies in neuroscience continue to elucidate the brain mechanisms underlying the choices that have puzzled some researchers for decades. In this game, two players choose whether to cooperate or defect. For each player, the highest payout occurs when the player defects and their partner cooperates. Smaller payouts to both players result from mutual cooperation. However, players who cooperate … Continue reading The role of emotions in Prisoner’s Dilemma
Financial Decision-Making: A Slap in the Face During the 2008 financial crisis I entered the falling market with roughly a tenth of our reserves. At the time, the Dow Industrial Average was down 30%, instead of the roughly 40% where it later landed. Though, I am not given naturally to discomfort when stocks drop in price, I began to feel distress as the general market fell further. Of course, I know it always reverts to the mean, but I didn’t know when this was going to happen. Would it be a year, 5 years, more? If it were going to … Continue reading How personality traits influence financial investment
Anxiety is all about anticipation! Take a few seconds to remember the last time that you felt very anxious about doing a task (ideally, think of one that you ended up completing). Perhaps it was going to a doctor’s appointment, or giving a presentation at school/work, or asking someone out. See if you can remember how you felt right before the task. What kinds of thoughts were you having? Were you generating a succession of catastrophic scenarios? (“I’m going to find out that I have a serious disease,” “The presentation is going to be a disaster,” “My date will find … Continue reading Anxiety as incentive
Intelligent People Are More Inclined to Trust Others Intelligent people are more likely to trust others, according to a new analysis of US public opinion poll data. This may be because more intelligent people are better judges of character. The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, analysed data from the ‘General Social Survey’, which asks a nationally representative sample of Americans about their attitudes and characteristics (Carl & Billari, 2014). The researchers focused on the idea of generalised trust: not trust of close friends and family, but of other unknown members of society. People were asked: “Generally speaking, would … Continue reading Trusting others can make you healthier and happier
To be or not to be? Should Obesity be a disease? We know that names matter. Many people distrust Obamacare but support the Affordable Care Act. People would rather eat quiche than egg pie. A “Nutrition Assistance Program” sounds more dignified than “food stamps.” A “cold snap” sounds almost tropical, or at least tolerable, compared to a “polar vortex.” So, it matters that the American Medical Association decided, in June of 2013, to name obesity a disease. The official recognition of obesity as a disease is postulated to garner more funding for research, more attention from doctors, and more health … Continue reading Is mindset a solution for obesity?