Archives for Studies


Feel Better With…Revenge?

Don't get mad, get even. Revenge is sweet. Revenge is profitable, gratitude is expensive. Blah, blah, blah. A new study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology called Combating the Sting of Rejection With the Pleasure of Revenge: A New Look at How Emotion Shapes Aggression confirms that getting back at someone who caused you suffering actually can make you feel better by improving your mood. Simply put, this is why people often do seek revenge.
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Post-Election Pessimism & Optimism In America

Richard's off this week, C.R. writes: After years of writing about many topics, including surveys and research studies, for, we've learned to take virtually all findings with a grain of salt. We read and reread the studies, analyze their methodology , and do a lot of extra-curricular reading on whatever the topic is. We also look for bias, even (especially) if we instinctively agree with the findings. Now we're thinking that political polls, too, deserve a closer look. Almost no major polls, for example, predicted the defeat of Hillary Clinton by Donald Trump. One of the polls which did accurately predict the results of the election
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Top 10 Fears Of Americans – Video

What are you afraid of? See Americans' Top Ten Fears of 2016 according to Chapman University. Top 10 Fears of 2016 (From Chapman University)

Below is a list of the 10 fears for which the highest percentage of Americans reported being “Afraid,” or “Very Afraid.” (Chart from Chapman University website.) Fear
Fear Domain
% Afraid or Very Afraid
Corrupt government officials
Government Terrorist Attack
Manmade Disasters

Not having enough money for the future
Economic Terrorism
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Is Seeing Believing? Or, Is Believing Seeing?

Magic or Psychology? Making Something That Doesn’t Exist Disappear on PsychCentral's News blog, reports on an Oxford University study led by Dr. Matthew Tompkins. Dr. Tompkins said, "The founding fathers of psychology were keenly interested in understanding how magicians could manipulate people’s perceptions." Participants watched videos, some of which contained magic-acts, some of which didn't. Yet, many of the subjects saw magic acts occurring, even when there weren't. Dr. Tompkins said, “We think what may be happening is that people are effectively confusing their expectations with a true sensory experience. Today, we have more opportunities to be manipulated into false beliefs than ever before."
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Suicide Cluster In Palo Alto: Why?

C.R. writes: The Washington Post reports that "Over the course of nine months in 2009 and 2010, six Palo Alto teenagers committed suicide. Between 2010 and 2014, an average of 20 children and young adults killed themselves annually in Santa Clara County, where Palo Alto is located." To put these grim statistics in context, "The deaths in the city constitute two recent “suicide clusters” (multiple suicides within a short time frame); there are an average of five in the entire country each year. Having two in the same city in less than a decade is extremely rare." (Washington Post) Several teenagers have committed suicide by stepping in front of trains, jumping off roofs or overpasses, or by hanging themselves.
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