Archives for April, 2011

Body Image

Am I Fat? Who the Hell Knows?

When I see people who are painfully crammed into their clothes or inappropriately dressed for their size, I wonder what they saw when they looked in the mirror. Did they really look at themselves and think, "Man, I look hot."

Maybe.

According to new research published in International Journal of Behavioral  Nutrition and Physical Activity one in four overweight/obese people don’t try to lose weight because they don’t realize they need to. “Weight...
Continue Reading

Depression

The Paper-Clip Game: Sad People in Happy Places

You know that old technique for measuring creativity, where you’re supposed to come up with as many uses for a paper clip as you can?

I like to play a version of that game when I see interesting research. I've been puzzling over  the new research about how the happiest places in the United States have the highest suicide rates.

Curious, eh?

The researchers speculate that this is because we all tend to compare...
Continue Reading

Aging

Unfriending in the Real World


A recently published study finds that as we age, we become more content and have more stable and yet more complex emotional lives. We begin experiencing more  “poignancy,” which the researchers define as having positive and negative emotions at the same time.

Boy oh boy. Poignancy. There’s a lot of that to life, isn’t there?

The lead researcher behind the study is Stanford University developmental...
Continue Reading

General

Don’t Worry, Be Unhappy

New research published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that sharing negative views of a third party brings two people closer together than sharing positive views.

It seems that expressing a mildly negative opinion will make another person feel that he or she knows you—perhaps because positivity is a default in polite society and may or may not be the truth. A little negativity seems like a peek inside your private...
Continue Reading

Crime

Can You Spot a Rapist?

New research out of Cornell University finds that people can identify criminals simply by looking at photos.

The researchers did all they could to make all things equal about the photos.

Participants saw head shots of “Caucasian males, ages 20 to 28, with similar attractiveness and facial expression." Half were just guys, the other half were guys who had committed violent (forcible rape, murder, assault) or nonviolent  (forgery, theft,...
Continue Reading

Friends

The Guilt Trip of Love


I’ve never been a fan of the guilt trip.

My mother could fit a lifetime of disappointment and regret into a barely audible sigh. It was her way of letting her loved ones know we had failed her. (It was then up to us to guess how.) My mother learned this skill from her mother, whose sighs were...
Continue Reading

Developmental Psychology

Can You Break the Bad-Boy Habit?

“Why do women like bad boys?” is the frustrated refrain of nice guys everywhere.

I don’t pretend to have the answer to that question, though I do have my own pet theory: That being “bad” requires self-confidence and that’s what women are attracted to, not the “badness” per se.

Whatever the reason, a study in press for the Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, titled "Effects of popularity and gender on peers’ perceptions of prosocial, antisocial, and jealousy-eliciting behaviors"...
Continue Reading