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Archives for January, 2012

Body Image

So Now That We Know That, What Do We Do?


My last post, about the effects of wearing cosmetics on people’s perceptions of women's competence, raises some compelling issues, discussed in the comments, in which one woman takes me to task for an article she says is “disheartening to say the least.”

She continues,
“Why must a woman conform to society’s fascist beauty standards to be deemed acceptable? Articles like these contribute...
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Consumer Behavior

Why Stacy and Clinton May Be Right

I love me some What Not To Wear —or any makeover show, for that matter. I get a kick out of watching Stacy and Clinton take frumpy dumpies and zazz them up into snazzy sassies. I don’t always agree with the styling (what is this obsession with flat irons?), but usually, the afters are lots better than the befores.

Women on these show who start out resistant to the makeover process often argue...
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Aging

Are We Scaring Kids Off Of Adulthood?

A friend is fretting about her 22-year-old son, who is living at home and, she fears, not getting it together.

This is a family with plenty of dough. The boy is well-educated and has been well cared for, despite some dysfunctional family fun, which few of us escape in this world. My friend complains that he’s lazy and over-entitled. He hasn’t been knocking himself out to find a job, and he’s drinking too much.

What’s a...
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Communication

A Dark Side of Therapists Online

Several years ago, I got into an online squabble with a friend who was in grad school, getting her MSW for a future career as a counselor.

The whole thing unfolded in the comments section of my blog and concluded (along with the friendship) when she spluttered that I am “…WEAK! And I MOCK weak people!”

Wow, I thought. Your future clients are in for a treat.

This incident came to mind when a Twitter buddy sent...
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Cognition

Creativity Under Pressure In The New Media Landscape

“The Internet has ruined everything,” my husband likes to grumble.

In some ways, he’s right.

The Internet has laid waste to newspapers and threatens traditional publishing in all forms. It sucked the money out of the music industry. It's killing off traditional bookstores--even the superstores that killed off the small independents.

New technology has opened up forms of expression to people who had been blocked by gatekeepers, but at the same time threatens to drag down the...
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Addiction

Habit and Inertia Are Real Change Killers

Habit and inertia. I believe those are behind every New Year’s Resolution failure.

A recent study out of Harvard finds that nicotine replacements—patches and gum—are not particularly effective in the long term. 

I read that in my newspaper this morning, along with an article discussing the we’ve-heard-it-before finding that eating foods marketed as sugar-free, fat-free, or low-cal are not a particularly good route to weight loss. They’re just not satisfying, so we just keep eating.

What...
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Aging

Good Stuff I’ve Learned In A Year Of Real World Research

This blog celebrated its first anniversary on January 1, so I am therefore compelled (it's the law) to reflect on the past year.

Writing Real World Research has been fun and also a lot of work. I read a lot more research than I end up writing about. Academic writing is no easy read and I am eternally grateful to those researchers who manage to slip a little joke in here and there. Some papers...
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Communication

Look Me In The Eye When You Type That, You Cowardly Troll

Remember when I interviewed Post Secret founder Frank Warren about the app that launched just a couple of months ago?

Well, say good-bye to that. Warren had to close down the app because people were behaving so badly, his screeners couldn’t keep up with the screeds.

In a post explaining the decision, he wrote,
99% of the secrets created were in the spirit of PostSecret. Unfortunately, the scale of secrets was so...
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