Study reveals sexual appeal of war heroes
Just slip out the back, Jack
Research suggests perfectionism and work motivation contribute to workaholism
When it comes to testosterone, more isn't always better
How does the human brain tackle problems it did not evolve to solve?

Worth Noting

  • Study: 44 percent of parents struggle to limit cell phone use at playgrounds
    Study: 44 percent of parents struggle to limit cell phone use at playgrounds

    Cell phone use at playgrounds is a significant source of parental guilt, as well as a powerful distraction when children try to get caregivers’ attention or ask to them to watch a monkey bar trick for the hundredth time.

  • Discovery paves way for homebrewed drugs
    Discovery paves way for homebrewed drugs

    Bioengineers at the University of California, Berkeley, has completed key steps needed to turn sugar-fed yeast into a microbial factory for producing morphine and potentially other drugs, including antibiotics and anti-cancer therapeutics.>

  • The cost of dominance
    The cost of dominance

    Bad news for relentless power-seekers the likes of Frank Underwood on House of Cards: Climbing the ladder of social status through aggressive, competitive striving might shorten your life as a result of increased vulnerability to cardiovascular disease. And good news for successful types who are friendlier: Attaining higher social status as the result of prestige and freely given respect may have protective effects, the researchers found.

  • How a wedding engagement changes Twitter feeds
    How a wedding engagement changes Twitter feeds

    After people got engaged, tweets with the word “I” or “me” dropped by 69 percent. They were replaced with “we” and “us.” There was barely any change within the control group.

  • Genes predispose some people to focus on the negative
    Genes predispose some people to focus on the negative

    A new study by a University of British Columbia researcher finds that some people are genetically predisposed to see the world darkly.

    The study, published in Psychological Science, finds that a previously known gene variant can cause individuals to perceive emotional events–especially negative ones – more vividly than others.

  • Story envy: When we borrow other people's personal anecdotes
    Story envy: When we borrow other people’s personal anecdotes

    Admit it, have you ever told a cracking story to your friends but failed to include the crucial (but perhaps boring) caveat that the amusing events actually happened to someone else? A new survey of hundreds of US undergrads finds that borrowing personal memories in this way is common place.

  • Can cheap wine taste great? Brain imaging and marketing placebo effects
    Can cheap wine taste great? Brain imaging and marketing placebo effects

    When consumers taste cheap wine and rate it highly because they believe it is expensive, is it because prejudice has blinded them to the actual taste, or has prejudice actually changed their brain function, causing them to experience the cheap wine in the same physical way as the expensive wine? Research in the Journal of Marketing Research has shown that preconceived beliefs may create a placebo effect so strong that the actual chemistry of the brain changes.

  • Real stereotypes continue to exist in virtual worlds
    Real stereotypes continue to exist in virtual worlds

    Stereotypes related to gender and appearance that burden women in the real world could follow them into virtual ones, according to researchers. In a study of how people interacted with avatars in an online game, women received less help from fellow players than men when they operated an unattractive avatar and when they used a male avatar, said T. Franklin Waddell, a doctoral candidate in mass communications, Penn State.

  • First evolutionary history of 50 years of music charts using big data analysis of sounds
    First evolutionary history of 50 years of music charts using big data analysis of sounds

    1986 was the most boring year in pop music and the Beatles and Stones were trend followers rather than pioneers. The biggest musical revolution was hip hop in 1991, says a new big data analysis of modern pop music.

  • Earworms? Chewing gum could be the solution.
    Earworms? Chewing gum could be the solution.

    The study found that people who chewed gum after hearing catchy songs thought less often about the song than in a control condition. Chewing gum also reduced the amount they ‘heard’ the song by one third.

  • We all want high social status
    We all want high social status

    Not everyone may care about having an impressive job title or a big, fancy house but all human beings desire a high level of social status, according to a newly published study. For decades, researchers have argued both sides of the question: is it human nature to want high standing in one’s social circle, profession, or society in general?

  • Study finds we think better on our feet, literally
    Study finds we think better on our feet, literally

    Students with standing desks are more attentive than their seated counterparts. In fact, preliminary results show 12 percent greater on-task engagement in classrooms with standing desks, which equates to an extra seven minutes per hour of engaged instruction time.

  • Thoughts drive dieting plans but feelings drive dieting behavior, study finds
    Thoughts drive dieting plans but feelings drive dieting behavior, study finds

    “The crux of the disconnect is the divide between thoughts and feelings. Planning is important, but feelings matter, and focusing on feelings and understanding their role can be a great benefit,” says Kiviniemi.

  • Stanford researchers observe the moment when a mind is changed
    Stanford researchers observe the moment when a mind is changed

    Researchers studying how the brain makes decisions have, for the first time, recorded the moment-by-moment fluctuations in brain signals that occur when a monkey making free choices has a change of mind.

  • Late-night snacking: It it your brain's fault?
    Late-night snacking: It it your brain’s fault?

    Researchers at BYU have shed new light on why you, your friends, neighbors and most everyone you know tend to snack at night: some areas of the brain don’t get the same “food high” in the evening.

  • The future is now: Reining in procrastination
    The future is now: Reining in procrastination

    Procrastination is the thief of time that derails New Year’s resolutions and delays saving for college or retirement, but researchers have found a way to collar it. The trick? Think of the future as now.

  • Iowa State researchers test brain activity to identify cybersecurity threats
    Iowa State researchers test brain activity to identify cybersecurity threats

    The old adage that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link certainly applies to the risk organizations face in defending against cybersecurity threats. Employees pose a danger that can be just as damaging as a hacker.

  • Mindfulness-based therapy rather than antidepressants to prevent depression relapse?
    Mindfulness-based therapy rather than antidepressants to prevent depression relapse?

    The results come from the first ever large study to compare MBCT – structured training for the mind and body which aims to change the way people think and feel about their experiences – with maintenance antidepressant medication for reducing the risk of relapse in depression.

  • Better social media techniques increase fan interest, engagement
    Better social media techniques increase fan interest, engagement

    Researchers found that the more individual teams released original content from their Twitter accounts, such as score updates or player profiles, the more followers they gained and engagement they initiated. They say their findings could provide guidance for many businesses struggling with how to use social media.

  • A sniff of happiness: Chemicals in sweat may convey positive emotion
    A sniff of happiness: Chemicals in sweat may convey positive emotion

    Humans may be able to communicate positive emotions like happiness through the smell of our sweat, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The research indicates that we produce chemical compounds, or chemosignals, when we experience happiness that are detectable by others who smell our sweat.

  • Scientists identify brain circuitry responsible for anxiety in smoking cessation
    Scientists identify brain circuitry responsible for anxiety in smoking cessation

    Neuroscientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and The Scripps Research Institute have identified circuitry in the brain responsible for the increased anxiety commonly experienced during withdrawal from nicotine addiction.

  • Likely cause of 2013-14 earthquakes: Combination of gas field fluid injection and removal
    Likely cause of 2013-14 earthquakes: Combination of gas field fluid injection and removal

    High volumes of wastewater injection combined with saltwater (brine) extraction from natural gas wells is the most likely cause of earthquakes occurring near Azle, Texas, from late 2013 through spring 2014.

  • Not everyone wants cheering up, new study suggests
    Not everyone wants cheering up, new study suggests

    People with low self-esteem have overly negative views of themselves, and often interpret critical feedback, romantic rejections, or unsuccessful job applications as evidence of their general unworthiness. A new study from researchers at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University found that they likely don’t want you to try to boost their spirits.

  • Working up a sweat -- it could save your life
    Working up a sweat — it could save your life

    Physical activity that makes you puff and sweat is key to avoiding an early death, a large Australian study of middle-aged and older adults has found.
    The researchers followed 204,542 people for more than six years, and compared those who engaged in only moderate activity (such as gentle swimming, social tennis, or household chores) with those who included at least some vigorous activity (such as jogging, aerobics or competitive tennis).

  • Sticks and stones: Brain releases natural painkillers during social rejection, study finds
    Sticks and stones: Brain releases natural painkillers during social rejection, study finds

    “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” goes the playground rhyme that’s supposed to help children endure taunts from classmates. But a new study suggests that there’s more going on inside our brains when someone snubs us – and that the brain may have its own way of easing social pain. The findings show that the brain’s natural painkiller system responds to social rejection – not just physical injury.

  • New images of the brain show the forgetful side effect of frequent recall
    New images of the brain show the forgetful side effect of frequent recall

    A new study has shown how intentional recall is beyond a simple reawakening of a memory; and actually leads us to forget other competing experiences that interfere with retrieval. Quite simply, the very act of remembering may be one of the major reasons why we forget.

  • Research debunks commonly held belief about narcissism
    Research debunks commonly held belief about narcissism

    Contrary to popular belief, excessive use of first-person singular pronouns such as “I” and “me” does not necessarily indicate a narcissistic tendency, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

  • Cold, callous and untreatable? Not all psychopaths fit the stereotype, says new study
    Cold, callous and untreatable? Not all psychopaths fit the stereotype, says new study

    Movie villains from Norman Bates to Hannibal Lecter have popularized the notion of the psychopath as cold, cruel, lacking in empathy and beyond the reach of treatment.
    A new study in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology suggests that this monolithic view, shared by some treatment professionals, is not only wrong but prevents many diagnosed with psychopathy, or precursors of it, from receiving therapies that could help them live happier, more productive lives.

  • Breastfeeding women and sex: Higher sex drive or relationship management?
    Breastfeeding women and sex: Higher sex drive or relationship management?

    New mothers in the Philippines spend more time in the bedroom with their partner in the first few weeks after giving birth than they did before they became pregnant. This might be a type of survival strategy to keep the relationships with the fathers of their new babies alive and well, to ensure continued support for their offspring.

  • Stop blaming the moon, says UCLA scientist
    Stop blaming the moon, says UCLA scientist

    The moon does not influence the timing of human births or hospital admissions, according to new research by Margot that confirms what scientists have known for decades. The study illustrates how intelligent and otherwise reasonable people develop strong beliefs that, to put it politely, are not aligned with reality.

  • Study links Facebook use to depressive symptoms
    Study links Facebook use to depressive symptoms

    The social media site, Facebook, can be an effective tool for connecting with new and old friends. However, some users may find themselves spending quite a bit of time viewing Facebook and may inevitably begin comparing what’s happening in their lives to the activities and accomplishments of their friends.

  • Women smokers concerned about weight are less likely to try to quit
    Women smokers concerned about weight are less likely to try to quit

    Women who believe smoking helps them manage their weight are less likely to try quitting in response to anti-smoking policies than other female smokers in the U.S.

  • Extraversion may be less common than we think
    Extraversion may be less common than we think

    Not only did the researchers show that extraverts are over-represented in real-world networks, they found that the effect is more pronounced in the networks of socially outgoing people. In other words, extraverted people are not immune from the friendship paradox-they experience it more intensely than others.

  • Consumers Value Handmade Products: What’s Love Got to Do with It?
    Consumers Value Handmade Products: What’s Love Got to Do with It?

    Machine-made products today are often of very good quality, and many are relatively cheaper than their handmade counterparts. But they are missing the key ingredient of “love,”

  • High-Energy TV Commercials: Too Much Stress for Consumers?
    High-Energy TV Commercials: Too Much Stress for Consumers?

    Consumers are tuning out TV commercials, making advertisers run louder, higher-energy ads to force their attention. This may be backfiring critically when consumers are watching sad or relaxing shows, according to a new study in the Journal of Marketing.

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