|Could Donald Trump Make Us More Informed?
||Donald Trump, the stock market, and being irrational. Behavioral economics tells us that having "The Donald" in the race could actually make us more informed.
|Want to Feel Successful? Try This Simple Formula
|| The truth is there is nothing simple about success. Peruse the shelves of any self-help section and you will find a multitude of different theories about just what it … ...
|Psychological Disorders in Animals: A Review of What We Know
||An essay titled "Many animals can become mentally ill" published in BBC Earth summarizes what we know about mental illness in animals. It concludes, "But far from being something limited to pampered modern humans, mental illness can strike many kinds of animals and seems to have been around for hundreds of millions of years." I highly recommend this fascinating essay.
|Top 10 Amazing (Recent) Findings on Character Strengths
||The science of character strengths has exploded in the last decade and a half and we are gaining plenty of new knowledge about these core positive qualities in human beings. Here are 10 interesting and very recent research studies on VIA character strengths.
|Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): 15 Signs You Should Know
How to spot OCD, the recommended treatment and whether it can be 'cured'.
» Continue reading: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): 15 Signs You Should Know
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|Researchers Are Making 3D-Printed Penises to Test What Women Think About Size
||Previous studies of how women perceive penis size and shape relied on 2D drawings and photographs of flaccid penises. Now, a research team of psychologists from UCLA and the University of New Mexico have taken things into the third dimension. ...
|Take a Picture Today, Feel Happy Tomorrow
||What would you rather do right now, write down the last conversation you had or watch a funny video guaranteed to make you laugh?
What about a month from now? Do you think you’d rather read about a random conversation you had last month, or watch another funny video?
These are some of the questions researchers asked in a recent set of studies exploring our tendency to underestimate how much pleasure we get out of rediscovering mundane experiences. Participants in these studies consistently expected that they would not be very interested in rereading a log of an ordinary event in their everyday lives. But a couple of months down the road when the time came to reread that log, they found themselves much more interested and experienced more pleasure than they had expected.
This was partly because they had forgotten a lot more of the event than they had expected they would! In the moment, we think why record our everyday experiences, we will remember them in the future and they aren’t that memorable anyway. Even just a month later though, our memories of the event begin to dim, the details fall away, and what once seemed ordinary feels a bit more extraordinary.
Since having a child last year, my husband and I have discovered the power of embracing the ordinary. Like many new parents, our phones and cameras are filled to the brim with photos of our daughter. (Someone reassure me I won’t regret it if I go through and delete some of the near duplicates!)
When she was first born and mostly just lay there, I felt silly taking photos and videos of her just kicking her little legs. I did it anyways because I don’t have any videos of myself from when I was a kid and I remembered how much I’d loved to watch my friends’ home videos. Now, just over a year later, I find myself already looking at those old videos and laughing with my husband at how tiny and silly she was that time she rolled off the pillow.
And it’s not just her. I love looking at how much our house has changed in the pictures as she has grown. I feel the same way when I look at my old family albums—I get as much enjoyment looking at the old-school strollers my mom used and reminiscing about our old houses as I do when I look at the photos from my first day of school or one of my birthday parties.
So what does this mean for your everyday lives? Even when it seems silly, or not worth it, take the time to record the seemingly unmemorable moments in your life. The future-you will be grateful.
Wondering how to record the everyday moments? Here are a few suggestions:
A Photo a day. Pick a time every day (or once a week) to take a photo, no matter what you are doing. At the end of the year, make a yearbook. For some tips, and reasons why it works, see Greater Good in Action.
Capture the context in your photos. Don’t just take posed photos that crop out the environment. Include the messy house, the front yard, or the car in your photos. Someday the environment will be as interesting as the subject.
A Day in the Life. I often see bloggers do a “day in the life” post, and they are some of my favorite posts to read. I’ve even done one myself. Pick a typical day and take the time to record what you are doing each hour. You could do this several times a year and keep a record of them in a journal or on your computer.
Day reconstruction task. Psychologists often use this task as part of their studies to discover more about people’s everyday lives. Take the time one morning to reconstruct everything you did the previous day in brief episodes (e.g., commuted to work, ate lunch) and answer questions about each episode (when did it start and end, what were you doing, who were you with, how you felt). You could do this several times a year and keep a record of them in a journal or on your computer.
A directed journal. Keeping a journal may be more than some people can commit to, but writing down a simple sentence or thought in response to a question might feel manageable. Think about the things you find most interesting to recall from your past and then choose a few set topics to write about—what you had for dinner, the last song you listened to, the last conversation you had, the last item you bought. Even doing this once a month (the first of every month?) might bring you more joy in the future than you could anticipate. There are specific, research-tested variants of this exercise, like keeping a gratitude journal, writing down three good things that happened each day for a week, or creating an awe narrative.
How to make the most of embracing the ordinary? Make a digital (or physical!) time capsule of these logs and pick a time each year to look back over them and reminisce. When you find yourself in a bad mood, pull out your pictures or journal. I’ve started looking at old photos on my phone when I’m in a funk and I’m always surprised by how effective it is at snapping me out of my bad mood. In addition to just being pleasurable, I think it also helps us realize how brief any one moment is and how quickly life changes.
A different version of this piece originally appeared in the blog Psych Your Mind.
|Single People Have More Friends than Married People Do
||In a survey, more than 25,000 adults in the U.S. were asked about their friends. I don’t know of any other study as extensive as this one that compared the … ...
|Peering into fish brains to see how they work
||One of the fundamental challenges facing neuroscientists who want to understand how the brain works is actually figuring out how the brain is wired together and how neurons interact. Now transgenic zebrafish are being used by researchers to unlock the secrets of the brain.
|Today I Love Clouds With Structure
||Today I love people who reach out for others. they may seem like they are in need and unable to offer anything in return in the moment of reaching, but in truth, they are offering themselves and their friendship, with their honor as collateral, in exchange for your friendship and...
|Asthma, Allergies & Mood
||Seasonal change can be a great time. In the spring, flowers start blooming. Summer brings on thunderstorms. In the fall you get changing leaves and everything readying itself for winter, … ...
|The Brain-Gut Connection: How Gut Bacteria May Treat Depression...
||We humans have a second brain. Come to think of it, men have three. The second one, called our enteric nervous system, consists of some 100 million neurons that are embedded in the walls of the long tube of our gut, which starts at the … ...
|ADHD Research And False Logic
||Research into the cause or causes of ADHD and into the possibilities of managing, treating or even eradicating symptoms of ADHD is important work. And that research needs to continue. … ...
|How to Know If Someone Is Lying
||One of the more useful techniques to develop is a basic understanding of discerning liars. While no too look the same, there are some general identification features. Some of which are utilized on lie detector tests. However, with every rule there is an exception. This … ...
|9 Signs of Traumatic Bonding: “Bonded to the abuser”...
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|What Shoppers Should Know About Reference Prices
||Shoppers use prices they know or encounter to judge if a product is cheap or expensive. In this article, I will explain how such reference prices affect shoppers' decisions, and can trick them into making purchases. I will also suggest some ways in which shoppers can protect themselves from the effects of reference prices.
|Meanwhile in the Future: We've Invented an Empathy Machine
||When you were a kid and stole your friends’ toys, your parent probably asked you this angry hypothetical: “How do you think that made them feel?” But what if you actually could feel what another person is feeling? This week, we travel to a future where humans have invented an empathy machine. ...
|Study finds link between emotion dysregulation and insomnia
||People who are losing the ability to regulate their emotions may be more likely to suffer from insomnia. And if they do, that insomnia is more likely to become persistent. Those are the conclusions of research published in a British Psychological Society journal today, Monday 7 September 2015, by a team led by Markus Jansson-Fröjmark [...]
The post Study finds link between emotion dysregulation and insomnia appeared first on PsyPost.
|A new factor in depression? Brain protein discovery could lead to better treatments
||Low. Down. Less than normal. That’s what the word depression means, and what people with depression often feel like. But sometimes, depression can mean too much of something – as new research shows. The discovery, about a protein called fibroblast growth factor 9 or FGF9, goes against previous findings that depressed brains often have less [...]
The post A new factor in depression? Brain protein discovery could lead to better treatments appeared first on PsyPost.
|Adolescents more economically rational than young adults, researchers find
||Teenagers are irrational and make bad decisions. Or do they? A new Duke study finds that adolescents ages 10 to 16 can be more analytical in their economic choices than many slightly older young adults. Published online in the October-December issue of Cognitive Development, the study suggests not only that society should give adolescents more [...]
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