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Scientists Freak Out Fish to Find Out How Brave They Are

Guppies apparently have distinct personalities, researchers find

(Newser) - Frightening fish isn't something you'd find on most people's daily to-do lists, but for researcher Tom Houslay, it was all in a day's work. Per the Washington Post , the evolutionary biologist at the University of Exeter gave his team the task of determining if the fish... More »

Aggressive? Your Walk Gives It Away

'Personality is indeed manifest in the way we walk'

(Newser) - The word swagger doesn't just describe the biomechanics of a person's gait. Its very definition is often linked to confidence and aggression, suggesting that one's mood or even personality can be revealed in how they walk. Now, research in the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior suggests that certain... More »

What Insecure People Post on Facebook

Constant posts about romantic partners may signal low self-esteem

(Newser) - If friends brag about the sweet gestures of their partners on Facebook, they might be inadvertently sharing a thing or two about their personalities at the same time. Researchers at Brunel University London reviewed the status updates of 555 Facebook users who completed surveys about self-esteem, narcissism, and the "... More »

Mini-Strokes Changed Caesar's Personality

Researchers say it makes more sense than epilepsy

(Newser) - Julius Caesar crumpled to the ground during the Battle of Thapsus in 46BC, and theories for the dizziness and limb weakness said to have caused that fall have ranged from epilepsy to malaria seizures and parasitic infection, the Guardian notes. But now two Imperial College London researchers have proposed his... More »

New Villain in Being Overweight? Your Personality

Extroverts, neurotic people linked to unhealthy eating habits

(Newser) - If you crave chocolate after a hard day at work or eat too much junk food when out with friends, your personality may be to blame, according to a new study in the journal Appetite . Researchers at Switzerland's Federal Institute of Technology compiled 1,000 Swiss responses to three... More »

Not Having a Job Could Warp Your Personality

And potentially prevent you from getting a new job: researchers

(Newser) - New research suggests being unemployed may actually alter a person's "core personality" for the worse, making it harder to secure new employment, per the American Psychological Association . A study published in the APA's Journal of Applied Psychology looked at nearly 6,769 German adults who took a... More »

Personalities Most Stable in Our 40s, 50s

But stability starts declining again after that

(Newser) - There's no doubt about it: The human body goes through major changes in youth and old age. And these biological and social changes may be the reasons behind what researchers are calling less stable personalities at those life stages. In fact, according to a study of almost 4,000... More »

Right- or Left-Brained? There's No Such Thing

Study finds we have no preference for one side over the other

(Newser) - If you've long lauded your powerful right brain for providing you with your artistic prowess, some University of Utah researchers have bad news for you: The whole right-brain/left-brain thing isn't true. The neuroscientists analyzed 1,011 brain scans to come to their conclusion about whether people are indeed... More »

Obama Addicted to Winning

From politics to card games, he's a competitor

(Newser) - President Obama's winning instinct isn't just about elections: The president is highly competitive in most facets of life, whether it's card-playing or reading a story to children. And he's not shy about his drive, reports the New York Times . To wit: He told a fundraising crowd... More »

How DNA Can Make You Nice

Genes can keep us friendly despite dark outlooks

(Newser) - Whether you're a nice person isn't just about your life experiences: Chemicals appear to play a big role, too. Your kindness, or lack of it, depends in part on whether your brain has the right kind of receptors for the hormones behind affection, scientists find. Researchers asked hundreds... More »

Can a New Heart Give You a New Personality?

Yes, but don't expect Dick Cheney to turn Democrat

(Newser) - Dick Cheney officially has a new heart, and the jokes are rolling in (most recently, compliments of Jon Stewart ). No big surprise that many of them are of the "maybe he'll wake up a Democrat" ilk. Which leads Slate to ponder: "Could a heart transplant actually... More »

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Change You for the Better

Personality shift may be long-term—but don't try it at home

(Newser) - All that hippie stuff about opening your mind may have some truth to it. Scientists have found that psilocybin, the drug in "magic mushrooms," can improve one aspect of a subject’s personality: her "openness." In a trial, nearly 60% of subjects who were given one... More »

What Your Sneeze Says About You

Researcher links sneeze type to personality

(Newser) - Whether you sneeze loudly or softly, quickly or repeatedly, your nose may say a lot about you, a body-language expert has found. Backed by Benadryl execs, she asked some 500 people about their personalities and how they sneezed, and recognized four types, the St. Petersburg Times reports:
  • The “get-appreciated:
... More »

Best Leaders Tap the 'Dark Side'

Study finds that flawed personalities make for better leaders

(Newser) - Positive personality traits like being outgoing and decisive are often touted as the right stuff for leaders, but being a jerk helps, too, according to a new study. Researchers followed 900 officer cadets at West Point over a 3-year period and found that so-called "dark side" personality traits like... More »

Personality in First Grade Sticks for Life: Study

Personality traits persevere decades later

(Newser) - Chatty kids grow up to be intelligent adults, and children with low self-esteem remain insecure decades later, say researchers investigating how much personality changes with age. "We remain recognizably the same person," the study author tells LiveScience . "This speaks to the importance of understanding personality because it... More »

How Will the New Kid Affect Court?

Spunky Sotomayor begins new term on staid Supreme Court

(Newser) - David Souter never danced the salsa in public. John Paul Stevens doesn't sing in karaoke bars. And John Roberts hasn't thrown out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium. But Sonia Sotomayor is all that and a bag of chips, and while the Supreme Court is all about the law, personalities... More »

What Your BLT Says About You

Sandwich choices offer insight into personality, love connections

(Newser) - Online dating sites and jury-selection pools may have a new criterion for determining personality traits: sandwich choice. A new study breaks down the deli line, finding, among other things, that BLT lovers are devoted perfectionists who are best matched with loyal, unselfish seafood-salad lovers, the Chicago Tribune reports. More culinary... More »

Scientists Locate Brain's Sentimental Center

Same Spot as Sex Urges

(Newser) - It turns out sex and sentimentality are linked after all, reports Reuters. Scientists have pinpointed areas of the brain that determine an individual's warm and fuzzy feelings—which they say are the same regions that control sex and some food urges. Researchers hope the findings may help explain brain evolution... More »

Kids May Inherit Parents' Joy

Life experiences could change the genes passed on

(Newser) - Kids with a sunny disposition may have inherited that attitude from happy parents, a scientist hypothesizes based on research showing that personal experiences can change the traits parents pass on to their kids. This could mean that parents’ pre-conception mental state influences the child, he contends. If that proves true,... More »

Dour Simon Shows Smiley Side in UK

Carping Idol judge is happy, sweet over on Britian's Got Talent

(Newser) - Viewers of American Idol might not recognize the jovial figure who regularly flashes his white-toothed grin from the judges' table on Britain's Got Talent. But that laughing man saying "awww" at adorable child contestants is indeed Simon Cowell. His transformation across the pond is nothing short of striking, writes... More »

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