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General

Everybody Take Ten, And I’ll Be Back Soon

Dear Readers,

Thank you all for supporting Real World Research. Writing it has been fun and educational, but after more than a year at it, I’m finding its demands—in terms of the amount of research it requires and my own writer’s OCD (revise, revise, revise, revise, and then revise one more time, or maybe two)--has made it too difficult to maintain.

And so, dear readers, I am shutting down the Real World Research lab.

I’ll be taking...
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Books

Brush Up On Your People Skills, Read a Novel

“I never read fiction,” is a point of pride for many people, along the lines of “I never watch TV.”

The implication is that nonfiction is a higher calling, that fiction is a frivolous pastime while nonfiction is a serious education. This has been a push-pull throughout the history of the novel, especially since early novels tended towards salacious or scandalous, more Danielle Steel than Ian McEwan.

Poet Samuel Coleridge, (1712 to 1835) stated his...
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Brain Function

Looking at the Negative (Spaces) In Our World

Elisha Goldstein’s book, The Now Effect, has sent my brain spinning in yet another direction.

The anecdote:
A professor stood before a philosophy class holding an empty jar. As the students took their seats, she began filling the jar with golf balls. When they reached the top, she asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then took a bag of pebbles and...
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Communication

Let’s Talk About Keeping Passion Alive

Keeping keep passion alive over the long haul is the greatest challenge to monogamy.

After you’ve rolled around together a few thousand times, sex can become rote, which is, to use the technical term, a bummer. People in long-term relationships do all kinds of things to try to keep the passion alive—dressing in costumes, role playing, bringing gizmos and gadgets into the bedroom.

Or  they could try just talking, suggests a study titled "
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Anxiety

Imagery and the Mind and Mindfulness

I’ve only just started reading the new book by fellow PyschCentral blogger Elisha Goldstein, and I’ve already found something useful.

Goldstein is a psychologist in private practice, and his excellent blog is about mindfulness. His book, The Now Effect: How This Moment Can Change the Rest of Your Life, is a manual for learning mindfulness. The book is short, quick-read chapters that leave you with lots to think about and try.

“See, Touch,...
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Addiction

Are Our Emotions Cranked To 11?

Have you been watching "Downton Abbey" like the rest of us?

Think about the Dowager Countess of Grantham, marvelous Maggie Smith. When she doesn’t like something, she gets a face like a cat that’s smelled something bad. And you get the message.

If you read authors like Edith Wharton and Jane Austin, you know there’s not a lot of bellowing and stomping around. Hearts are broken, fortunes lost, people became ill, or bereaved, despondent...
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Developmental Psychology

Laptop-Shooting Dad: How Is His Behavior Different From His Daughter’s?

By now you’ve probably seen the viral video by folk hero du jour, the father who put several bullets into his teenaged daughter’s laptop because she put up a whiny, disrespectful post on Facebook.

(If you haven’t seen it yet, click here.)

The girl's post complained about how her parents made her work soo hard and how she hated having to do chores and how instead of making her get a job, her parents should...
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Books

Complaining About Complaining

Carl Jung said, “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."

I picked up The Squeaky Wheel: Complaining the Right Way To Get Results, Improve Your Relationships, Enhance Self-Esteem, by psychologist Guy Winch, in hopes of learning something about the chronic complainers in my life.

But the book taught me as much about myself as others.

Despite the many years that have passed since, I still wince...
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