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A Happy Spouse May Make You Not Just Happier, but Healthier

'Another person’s happiness is filling you up, so you do these healthy things'

(Newser) - If you follow the ping-ponging research, you'll know that happiness is achieved by staying single . Or maybe by expressing gratitude to your spouse. Or by having at least four kids . Well, it's time to add another line item to the list: Marry a happy person. So report researchers... More »

Taking Selfies Can Improve Your Mood

Don't be so quick to judge the selfie-snappers

(Newser) - If you smile enough, and see yourself doing it, and share it with friends and family, you may actually make yourself happier, at least according to researchers at the University of California at Irvine reporting in the journal Psychology of Well-Being . The team tracked 41 college students' moods for a... More »

Among Elite Athletes, Practice Isn't Everything

Practice definitely makes us better—but among the elite, not necessarily the 'absolute best'

(Newser) - Ever since Swedish psychologist K. Anders Ericsson published a paper on the impact of 10,000 hours of deliberate practice on a musician's performance in 1993, his findings have become lore—and extended to a range of activities, such as medicine, chess, and sports. But while practice makes us... More »

Most Kids With ADHD Grow Out of It

Strong association between sleep problems and ADHD, and both are resolved in many young adults

(Newser) - Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is often characterized as restless days followed by restless nights. In fact, the association between poor sleep quality and the disorder is so strong that scientists are now questioning whether lack of sleep is contributing to the rise in ADHD. The good news, researchers report in the Journal ... More »

Bracelet Promises to Shock Your Bad Habits Away

The human version of a dog shock collar has yet to be studied for long-term effects

(Newser) - Some people will try just about anything to break a bad habit—and that now includes a gadget that promises to help people retrain their behaviors using mild vibrations and painful zaps. Named after the Russian physiologist who introduced the world to Pavlovian classical conditioning and its subset aversion therapy,... More »

Benefits of Mindfulness May Be Overstated

Researchers claim benefits of mindfulness are being exaggerated

(Newser) - Mindfulness is the hot new trend in mental health, but a recent study says the scientific community might be overselling its effectiveness. Mindfulness, as Nature defines it, "is the practice of being aware of thoughts and feelings without judging them good or bad." Prior studies have found it... More »

Study Discovers What Creeps Us Out and Why

Clowns, long fingers, lip licking, inappropriate laughing…

(Newser) - As Slate puts it: "Creepy is a state of being that’s easy to identify but hard to pin down." That is, until two social psychologists at Knox College conducted the first-ever empirical study of "creepiness," publishing their findings in New Ideas in Psychology . The researchers... More »

Smart People Happier When Not Socializing With Pals

It all leads back to our hunter-gatherer ancestors: scientists

(Newser) - A study delving into the well-being of young people came up with two main findings: that people who live in more densely populated areas tend to be less happy, and that the more socializing one does with close friends, the more satisfied that person says he or she is, the... More »

A Whole Field of Psychology Might Be Bogus

Slate looks at skepticism over 'ego depletion'

(Newser) - The phrase "ego depletion" might not mean much to laymen, but to psychologists, it's a very big deal indeed, writes Daniel Engber at Slate . The general idea is that people have a finite amount of willpower at any one time, meaning they can use it up performing one... More »

For the Obese, Objects Are Closer Than They Appear

The obese see distances as at least 10% greater than those of average weight

(Newser) - The very weight we carry can change our perception of the space around us, reports the Guardian , with obese people seeing distances as being at least 10% greater than those of average weight do, report researchers from Colorado State University Fort Collins. In the journal Acta Psychologica they report that... More »

Suicide Highlights 'Extraordinary' Pressures on Top Chefs

Benoit Violier wasn't the only cuisinier to feel the heat from high-stakes career

(Newser) - The suicide of "world's best chef" Benoit Violier illuminates not only the 44-year-old's personal troubles, but also the more pervasive pressures felt by many of the world's top culinary artists. The Guardian reports Violier had suffered recent personal loss, including the deaths of his dad and... More »

What Midlife Crisis? Most of Us Get Happier

People are happier in their 40s than in their teens

(Newser) - If you've made it through your 40s without suddenly acquiring a blood red convertible, piercings, or a skydiving habit, you might have wondered whether you were the only one to miss out on that much-vaunted midlife crisis. And you'd be right to wonder, according to researchers at the... More »

Helping Others Could Be Good for Your Mental Health

Study shows small acts of kindness help us cope with stress

(Newser) - It turns out getting in the holiday spirit can be good for your mental health. A study published last week in Clinical Psychological Science found performing small acts of kindness for others can give us an improved outlook on things and help us to better deal with stress. "Stressful... More »

Trying to Learn From Your Mistakes Is a Big Mistake

Dwelling on the past can negatively impact how you behave in the present

(Newser) - Trying to learn from your mistakes isn't such a good idea, according to new research out of Vanderbilt University . Reporting in the Journal of Consumer Psychology , scientists say that focusing on the past appears to put people in worse moods and may even be self-fulfilling. "Be very careful... More »

This Study Just Slammed All Psych Studies

Finds major issues in reproducibility of research

(Newser) - A new study on psychology research is essentially bashing all other psychology studies. The research area has gotten a bad rap recently thanks to retracted research papers, so psychologists set out to discover what was going on. When research is valid, others should be able to duplicate the study and... More »

To Lose Weight, Play Tetris?

The game reduces cravings by an average 20%, a study finds

(Newser) - Are food cravings growing your waistline? Don't fret: just play Tetris. In what might just be the best news you read all day, a new study published in Addictive Behaviors finds playing Tetris for just 3 minutes reduces cravings by an average 20%. And that doesn't just apply... More »

Psychologists Aided Torture Program: Report

American Psychological Association details behavior in new report

(Newser) - Accusations have been flying for a while now about the role of the American Psychological Association in justifying US interrogation techniques now considered to be torture. So much so that the group's own board commissioned the most extensive review to date about its work with the CIA and Pentagon... More »

Scientists Figure Out Why the Way Home Feels Shorter

Your brain may warp your memory of time passed

(Newser) - Ever wonder why getting to your destination seems to take forever, but the return trip passes in a flash? Japanese researchers this week shed light on the phenomenon. Writing in PLOS One , the team notes that "studies on the return trip effect have failed to confirm its existence in... More »

What It Takes to Be a Good Assassin

Lesson 1: Don't humanize your target

(Newser) - How do assassins kill strangers without a second thought or an ounce of guilt? A successful one convinces himself or herself that the victim is a target rather than a human, and that the killing is just another day's work, criminologists say in a new study . After reviewing cases... More »

Rats Will Rescue Friends in Distress

One rat will open the door for another stuck in water

(Newser) - Rats may not have the best reputation, but a new study suggests that they're actually pretty good citizens. Researchers found that if a rat is in distress in water, another will save it, according to a post in Science Daily . Researchers put one rat in a pool of water... More »

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