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How Empathetic Are Americans? Meh

US ranks 7th of 63 countries in first-time ranking

(Newser) - Americans aren't the worst by far, but we could use some help in the empathy department, a new study finds. A ranking of "the ability to understand and share the feelings of others" in 63 countries found the US in seventh place, Science Daily reports, behind Saudi Arabia.... More »

Is the Movie Funny? Test of the Air Might Reveal All

Chemical we exhale may correspond to fear, humor, say researchers

(Newser) - Ever wondered if dogs can actually smell when you are afraid? New research published in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that humans emit certain chemical signatures that might be predictive of our emotions "by broadcasting scene specific emissions on breath." To test this, they studied the air in... More »

Facebook's 'Reactions' Buttons Are Here

Users now have 5 new emotions to choose from other than 'like'

(Newser) - The long-coveted "dislike" button hasn't arrived, but Facebook's newest enhancement may appease those who've been clamoring for more than the ubiquitous thumbs-up icon. There are five new "reactions" buttons joining the like symbol, TechCrunch reports: love, haha, wow, sad, and angry, all accessible when you... More »

When It Comes to Mood Disorders, Girls May Be Like Mom

Mothers and daughters have similar brain circuitry

(Newser) - A woman with depression might have her mother's brain circuitry at least partly to blame, suggests a new study out of the University of California San Francisco . In the small but potentially groundbreaking study led by psychiatry professor Fumiko Hoeft, researchers discovered that the structure of the part of... More »

Your Computer Now Knows When You're Mad

The way you move your mouse is giving you away

(Newser) - We may like to think that we are indescribably complex emotional creatures, but computer scientists at Brigham Young University are finding that they can accurately predict one side of ourselves—our dark, angry side—simply by tracking the way we move a mouse while on a computer. "Using this... More »

Microsoft Knows Just How Happy, Disgusted You Are

The next generation of facial recognition adds emotion to the mix

(Newser) - Our faces have long betrayed our emotions to other discerning humans, and now the machines are catching up. Microsoft has just released the public beta version of a new Project Oxford tool that uses artificial intelligence to recognize "eight core emotional states" on people's faces in photographs. If... More »

Want to Show Some Emotion? Send an Email

New research says writing process may cause emotional arousal in sender

(Newser) - If you want to convey something affectionate or romantic and you can't do it in person, it may be better to send an email than leave a voicemail. So report researchers at Indiana University Bloomington in the journal Computers in Human Behavior after analyzing both the messages being sent... More »

Yes, There Is Such a Thing as a Good Cry

Crying boosts a person's mood after 90 minutes: study

(Newser) - Feeling gloomy? Shed a few tears, then wait 90 minutes, and you'll probably be in a better mood. That's the word from researchers involved in a new study out of the Netherlands that suggests crying actually boosts a person's mood, but not immediately. Scientists asked 60 participants... More »

Fruit Flies May Experience Fear: Study

Whether they experience it the way we do remains unclear

(Newser) - Does the tiny-brained fruit fly experience emotions like fear? New research published in the journal Current Biology suggests that the insects at the very least enter a fear-like state, demonstrating all of the so-called emotion primitives associated with fear—including persistence (the response continues after the threat has passed, such... More »

Ladies, Men Really Don't Feel Your Pain

Researchers find women, parents are much more empathetic

(Newser) - Think your man doesn't feel your pain? It might not be in your head after all. Scientists in Australia say men simply aren't very empathetic when their partners are blue—and they have a national survey to prove it, reports the Herald Sun . Researchers interviewed 20,000 Australians... More »

Scientists Turn Bad Memories to Happy Ones

Research could mean more effective treatment for human disorders

(Newser) - Scared to death of spiders after you found one crawling in your bed? Scientists may have discovered a way for you to find them positively cuddly. After identifying the neurons powered by positive and negative memories in mice, MIT neuroscientists found a way to use light to essentially rewrite a... More »

Inside Facebook's Secret Mood Experiment

Critics say 2012 study was immoral and proves nothing

(Newser) - A study that altered News Feeds on Facebook claims to show that even online emotions are contagious, NPR reports—but the real story may be that Facebook manipulated News Feeds at all. In the study , researchers played with more than 600,000 users' feeds for a week in 2012, showing... More »

Study: Humans Have 21 Facial Expressions

Some of them are weird, like 'happily disgusted'

(Newser) - A new study finds that humans have many facial expressions—21, to be exact—that can convey distinct emotions such as "happily surprised," "fearfully angry," "angrily surprised," and even "happily disgusted." To observe emotions, the authors told 230 college students a series... More »

You Have Only 4 Emotions

Subtler distinctions more social than biological

(Newser) - Scientists have traditionally held that people have six basic emotions: happy, sad, angry, surprised, afraid, and disgusted. But a new study reduces that number to just four by combining "angry" with "disgusted" and "surprised" with "afraid." Those pairings share the same biological roots, the Glasgow... More »

Today's Legos Are Angrier

Happy plastic faces on the decline: study

(Newser) - Lego characters, it seems, are no longer living in a state of bliss. Once, the figures wore uniform smiles, whether they were gas station workers or hospital patients. Today, however, life has gotten more complicated: Since the 1990s, the number of angry Lego faces has climbed while the number of... More »

And the World's Least Emotional Country Is...

...Singapore, according to Gallup

(Newser) - When it comes to "emotionless societies," Singapore takes the cake. This according to Gallup , which has polled residents in 150 countries since 2009 in a quest to gauge how emotional each country is. It went about doing so by asking a series of yes-and-no questions designed to suss... More »

See Something Traumatic? Don't Sleep Right Away

You might lock in those nasty memories: Study

(Newser) - Snoozing after experiencing a traumatic event might forge the negative memories and emotions in the brain, a new study suggests. UMass researchers exposed 100 adults to unsettling images and then allowed half to sleep and kept the other half awake. Twelve hours later, the subjects who stayed up displayed a... More »

Here's the Saddest Movie Scene Ever

If you want to cry, just watch the ending of 'The Champ'

(Newser) - New York and Moviefone point to a fascinating 1995 study brought back into the spotlight by Smithsonian : The study found that the saddest movie clip of all time may very well be from a poorly-reviewed 1979 boxing movie. Two scientists set out to find the best film scenes to... More »

Botox Can Make It Harder to Empathize

Without the ability to mimic expressions, it's difficult to perceive emotions

(Newser) - Research has already shown that Botox can have an effect on your own emotions, but a new study shows it may also affect how you perceive the emotions of others, USA Today reports. Part of the way we read emotions involves mimicking the facial expressions of others, the lead researcher... More »

Botox Dulls Emotions

Limited facial expressions may stifle feelings

(Newser) - Some Botox patients have trouble looking happy or sad, and now research suggests they have trouble feeling happy or sad as a result. Facial expressions themselves are thought to produce sensory feedback that influences emotional states, so a group of Barnard researchers tested whether Botox users—who have literally paralyzed... More »

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