|Spouse’s personality influences career success, study finds
||As people spend more and more time in the workplace, it’s natural for co-workers to develop close bonds — what’s often referred to as a “workplace spouse” or an “office wife.” But when it comes to pay raises, promotions and other measures of career success, it’s the husband or wife at home who may be [...]The post Spouse’s personality influences career success, study finds appeared first on PsyPost.
|Mouse model sheds light on role of mitochondria in neurodegenerative diseases
||A new study by researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine sheds light on a longstanding question about the role of mitochondria in debilitating and fatal motor neuron diseases and resulted in a new mouse model to study such illnesses. Researchers led by Janet Shaw, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry, found that when healthy, [...]The post Mouse model sheds light on role of mitochondria in neurodegenerative diseases appeared first on PsyPost.
|People Who Think their Meanness is Heroic
||Those who go into therapy know they have a disorder. Others know they have a disorder but think they can handle it without therapy. Still others are vaguely aware they have a disorder but won’t admit it to themselves or others. And then there is another class of people that...
|The Opportunity in Every Moment
||My whole life I’ve leaned toward all-or-nothing thinking. Black or white. Binge or restrict. Terrible day or terrific. In my mind I was either the energizer bunny or a sloth. I was either beautiful or blah. And how could I be beautiful if I was only pretty sometimes? If I...
|Mindful Emotional Eating – a Humanistic Harm Reduction Approach
||Another opus of mine on eating is coming out later this fall: this one is about a new concept of Mindful Emotional Eating. To clarify, the book isn’t about eliminating emotional eating but about making it more mindful – in the spirit of humanistic harm reduction. Here’s the table of...
|“Gratitude is the Parent of All Virtues”
||True tolerance of others, especially of those we love, is a virtue that all romantic partners enter into their coupleship hoping to achieve. The actual attainment of this virtue however, proves to be a most difficult and challenging feat for many of us to accomplish. It is very challenging at times...
|White House begins campaign against campus sex assult
||A new public awareness and education campaign is designed to change the culture on college campuses and prevent sexual assault before it happens.
|Ways to boost happiness
||Science shows happy people live longer and healthier lives.
|Will Mindfulness Replace Religion? Don’t Count on It.
||Will people someday discard beliefs about a caring universe? Will mindfulness meditation take the place of religion? Like my last two, this post was prompted by the recent book by Sam Harris, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. Harris dreams of a religion-free world, one in which mindfulness...
|Who is Happiest?
||At the start of “The Science of Happiness,” we invited all of you to take our “pre-course survey,” which asks about your health, well-being, age, gender, and other background information. These details—all kept anonymous and confidential—provide a snapshot of our student body at the outset of the course.
So far, more than 20,000 of you have completed the pre-course survey—wow! Your participation enables us to tell our students about who is taking this class with them and to uncover some interesting trends about happiness. (And for those of you who haven’t taken the survey yet, it’s not too late!)
This is the first in a series of posts reporting on findings from the survey, based on our analysis of all 20,000+ responses so far, covering group differences in happiness across age, gender, relationship status, and community standing.
Keep your eyes peeled for more posts as we continue to analyze the survey results. At the end of the class, we’ll invite you to take a final survey that will help us track students’ changes in happiness from the start to the end of “The Science of Happiness.”
Who is in “The Science of Happiness”?
The survey reveals tremendous diversity among our students: They represent a range of age groups and countries from all over the world. (Note: findings regarding happiness across countries will be presented in a future post). In the figure below, you can see the age distribution of students in “The Science of Happiness.”
Who is happiest?
In addition to determining who is in “The Science of Happiness,” the data can also be used to address big questions about who generally experiences the most happiness.
First, we tested whether students’ age is related to their happiness. Some past research has suggested that as people age, they experience more positive emotion. Our results offer some support for that finding—sort of. In the figure below, you can see that happiness increases marginally among older students, with a spike in happiness among participants born in the 1920s.
Second, we tested whether students’ gender is related to happiness and health symptoms. Past research has produced mixed results about which gender group is happier and healthier. As the figures below indicate, our data suggest that females in the class are somewhat happier than other gender groups, while males show somewhat fewer symptoms of health problems.
Third, we tested whether our students’ standing in their community is related to their happiness. “Community standing” was measured simply by presenting students with a ladder that was supposed to represent their community, with the highest-ranking members at the top and the lowest-ranking at the bottom. They had to indicate where they’d place themselves on that ladder.
Prior research suggests that higher community standing is associated with more generosity, being well-liked by members of the community, and a kind, helpful (or “prosocial”) orientation. Our survey data suggest that community standing is also positively associated with happiness.
Lastly, we tested whether students’ relationship status is associated with their happiness, and examined how this association might differ across genders. Some past research has suggested that females (versus males) show lesser increases in happiness from being married, though that was not evident in our data.
Week 2 of the course will cover research on the relationship between marriage and happiness, so stay tuned for more on this topic. And keep an eye out on this page for more findings from our survey.
|Simple test can help detect Alzheimer's before dementia signs show, study shows
||A simple test that combines thinking and movement can help to detect heightened risk for developing Alzheimer's disease in a person, even before there are any telltale behavioural signs of dementia, researchers report, adding that the findings don't predict who will develop Alzheimer's disease, but they do show there is something different in the brains of those who go on to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
|Are Our Fantasies Universal?
||How universal are our fantasies?
|Are We a Childist Society?
||What we need, according to two recent books, is an entirely new attitude toward children. Both books point to engrained notions about children that view them as a subservient class in the same way as we Americans once viewed slaves, and both show how these attitudes cause harm to children...
|How Memories Can Be Genetically Passed Down Through The Generations
'Memories' can be passed down through genetic code from one generation to the next.
Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is
"Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick"
Related articles:Fearful ‘Memories’ Passed Between Generations Through Genetic Code
Childhood Amnesia: The Age at Which Our Earliest Memories Fade
Autism Related to Lipid Levels During Pregnancy
How the Brain Stores Memories
A Better Way to Cope With Persistent Bad Memories
|Is Depression an Addiction?
||One of the chapters of my memoir, Beyond Blue, is called “The Least Harmful Addiction.” I explain that willpower is, regrettably, a finite thing. We have a limited amount, so we must preserve it for the most harmful addictions we have (i.e., when desperate, we should inhale chocolate truffles over...
|ADHD Coaching: Everything You Always Wanted to Know But
||I’ve been sharing a few updates about my ADHD coaching experience here at my blog. Now, it’s your turn! Mark Jones, from Anchored Awareness Coaching, has offered up his time and experience to present a webinar for us this Monday, September 22 at 7 p.m. ET to talk about ADHD...
|Sibling bullying linked with later mental health disorders
||A new study has found that children who revealed they had been bullied by their brothers or sisters several times a week or more during early adolescence were twice as likely to report being clinically depressed as young adults.
|Problems with Bargh’s definition of unconscious
||I have a new paper out in Frontiers in Psychology: The perspectival shift: how experiments on unconscious processing don’t justify the claims made for them. There has been ongoing consternation about the reliability of some psychology research, particularly studies which make claims about unconscious (social) priming. However, even if we assume that the empirical results […]
|Brain uses three perceptual parameters to recognize 'gloss'
||The brain uses three perceptual parameters, the contrast-of-highlight, sharpness-of-highlight, or brightness of the object, as parameters when the brain recognizes a variety of glosses, researchers have discovered. They also found that different parameters are represented by different populations of neurons.
|Mitochondria's role in neurodegenerative diseases clearer thanks to mouse study
||A new study sheds light on a longstanding question about the role of mitochondria in debilitating and fatal motor neuron diseases and resulted in a new mouse model to study such illnesses. Mitochondria are organelles -- compartments contained inside cells -- that serve several functions, including making ATP, a nucleotide that cells convert into chemical energy to stay alive. For this reason mitochondria often are called "cellular power plants."