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Last updateWed, 01 Oct 2014 1pm

Psychology

Why Spending Time on Hobbies Makes You a Better Person

Creative activities outside of work may help boost your job performance, a new study suggests.

Read more: Why Spending Time on Hobbies Makes You a Better Person

Guys' Biggest Date-Night No-no? - SelfMagazine (article link)

"In the survey, 56% of women and 61% of men said that talking on the phone or texting at the table is the biggest dining faux pas a date can commit."

Read more: Guys' Biggest Date-Night No-no? - SelfMagazine (article link)

Impulse buying isn't (entirely) your fault - CNN Blogs (article link)

"Advertising encourages spur-of-the-moment emotional purchases that are triggered by seeing the product, according to the editorial. The way food is arranged in a grocery store can have a big impact on what consumers buy. A 2009 study showed products placed at the end of the aisle account for 30% of all supermarket sales."

Read more: Impulse buying isn't (entirely) your fault - CNN Blogs (article link)

13 Love Resolutions to Make for 2013 - Yahoo (article link)

"Studies show that being satisfied with your romantic relationship is one of the best predictors of happiness - even more important than education, income, or having a high-status job. Resolve to make 2013 your happiest year yet with these bond-strengthening pledges."

Read more: 13 Love Resolutions to Make for 2013 - Yahoo (article link)

Five New Year’s dating resolutions - Match (article link)

Resolution #1: Start living in the future
“Stop basing the potential relationship of your future to your relationships of the past,”

Read more: Five New Year’s dating resolutions - Match (article link)

Experts say psychological effects of Sandy likely to grow - Reuters (article link)

"psychological distress from the disaster and its patchy recovery is likely to be growing, trauma experts say." - "Those most vulnerable to long-term emotional fallout from the storm are people who lost loved ones or whose homes were destroyed. But the disruption to normal life could well affect millions of others, experts say."

Read more: Experts say psychological effects of Sandy likely to grow - Reuters (article link)

Research breakthrough: High brain integration underlies winning performances - EurekaAlert (article link)

Top performers in management, sports, and music have uniquely high brain integration compared to average-performing controls. They also have higher moral reasoning and more peak experiences. -- These researchers are the first to show a brain measure of effective leadership.

Read more: Research breakthrough: High brain integration underlies winning performances - EurekaAlert...

Employees' interests predict how they will perform on the job - EurekaAlert (article link)

New research published in Perspectives on Psychological Science suggests that a different factor -- employee interests -- may be a better way to predict who will perform well on the job.

Read more: Employees' interests predict how they will perform on the job - EurekaAlert (article link)

Sex: What's in a 'number'? - CNN (article link)

In the recent romantic comedy, “What’s Your Number?” Anna Faris plays a young single woman who is worried that her high number of past sexual partners, 19, will prevent her from meeting Mr. Right, and determines to find lasting love before bedding No. 20.

Men tend to overestimate, while women generally underestimate. -- In general, though, there seems to be a double standard. What’s in a number, and why should a woman’s be lower than a man’s?

Read more: Sex: What's in a 'number'? - CNN (article link)

Do you have a happiness routine? - Chatelaine (article link)

"Happiness, like so many other things, can be part of a practice, and the first step is identifying what it is that makes you happy."

Read more: Do you have a happiness routine? - Chatelaine (article link)

New research on why women fake orgasms - Chatelaine (article link)

"The study explains that faking it is a way for these women to stake their claim on a man: those women who were more concerned about a man cheating on her were more likely to fake orgasms."

Read more: New research on why women fake orgasms - Chatelaine (article link)

Want to Successfully Manage Your Emotions? Be Flexible - Psychology Today (article link)

Life is full of stressful situations, some of which are lower on the totem pole of emotional intensity and some much higher. On the lower end might be a morning drive to work in unexpected traffic or a subtle reminder from your boss about the minor deadline you missed. Seeing the destroyed car (and driver) that caused the traffic jam or your boss questioning your ability to do your job, would likely elicit more extreme emotional reactions.

For several decades, psychologist have been interested in how people successfully control their emotions in stressful situations. The idea is that, if we can understand how healthy people manage their emotions, we may be able to improve the lives of those with depression or anxiety (both of which are characterized by breakdowns in emotional equilibrium). Now, new research published last week in the journal Psychological Science shows that successfully regulating our emotions is not a "one size fits all" endeavor. Rather, it involves bringing the right emotional regulation strategy to bear on the situation. Simply put, different emotional contexts require different regulation processes.

Read more: Want to Successfully Manage Your Emotions? Be Flexible - Psychology Today (article link)

Psychological association calls for legalization of same-sex marriage - CNN News (article link)

(CNN) -- The American Psychological Association is calling on state and federal officials to stop anti-gay legal measures and to legalize same-sex marriage.

‎"The research, Anderson said, indicates that marriage "does confer the same sense of security, support, and validation" to same-sex couples as to heterosexual ones."

"The resolution also points to evidence that ongoing political debate about marriage creates stress for gay men and lesbians and perpetuates stigmas and prejudice about their communities. This stress can make people physically and psychologically sick, the APA says, calling the link between stress and illness "well established.""

Read more: Psychological association calls for legalization of same-sex marriage - CNN News (article link)

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones . . . But Words Will Cut Me Deeply - Psychology Today (article link)

Recognize verbal abuse and take steps to stop it.

What do you think of as verbal abuse? Name-calling? Taunting? The silent treatment? Verbal abuse can be all those things, but it can be subtle, too.

What Is Verbal Abuse?

While some abusers yell, threaten, ridicule, or humiliate, others wound with words in less obvious ways: "correcting" your mistakes, disparaging your motives, even "suggesting" a course of action "for your own good."

Read more: Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones . . . But Words Will Cut Me Deeply - Psychology Today...

Social Defeat Changes Young Brains - Psychology Today (article link)

An argument for compassion and respect.

In the wake of several highly publicized cases in which teen taunting provoked either suicidal or violent behavior, we have to ask ourselves how social rejection, verbal abuse, and peer ridicule affect developing brains. Last week, I wrote about some of the effects of bullying and verbal abuse on teens. Now, a new piece of research on mice begs the question, Do negative social experiences change the developing brains of humans?

Read more: Social Defeat Changes Young Brains - Psychology Today (article link)

The brain needs downs to have ups - Psychology Today (article link)

Happy neurochemicals can’t work if they’re on all the time.

Four neurochemicals cause happiness: endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin. Each evolved to do a different job. When you know what the job is, you know why your happy chemicals can't be on all the time.

Read more: The brain needs downs to have ups - Psychology Today (article link)

Hugging Yourself Reduces Physical Pain - Psychology Today (article link)

New study says crossing your arms confuses your brain to relieve your pain.

Cheaper than a massage, and fewer side effects than popping pills: A new study reports that crossing your arms can significantly relieve pain.

Read more: Hugging Yourself Reduces Physical Pain - Psychology Today (article link)

Psychologists closing in on causes of claustrophobic fear - MedicalXpress (article link)

We all move around in a protective bubble of "near space," more commonly known as "personal space." But not everyone's bubble is the same size. People who project their personal space too far beyond their bodies, or the norm of arm's reach, are more likely to experience claustrophobic fear, a new study finds.

Read more: Psychologists closing in on causes of claustrophobic fear - MedicalXpress (article link)

Inherent Racial Bias and Financial Decisions - ABC News (video)

University of Alabama at Birmingham's Stephanie Rauterkus, PhD, explains.

Read more: Inherent Racial Bias and Financial Decisions - ABC News (video)

Smear Campaign: Stereotypes Over Truth - Psychology Today (article link)

When Obama Is Not a U.S. Citizen (And a Muslim, Anti-Christ)

The effect of race primes on acceptance of Obama smears

Potential Presidential nominee Donald Trump is raising quite a fuss over Obama's birth certificate. Polls show that a surprisingly high number of people believe he could be the anti-Christ, and that he is Muslim. Research (here and here) has begun to explore the causes of these beliefs.

Read more: Smear Campaign: Stereotypes Over Truth - Psychology Today (article link)