"We know that happiness and social connection can have positive benefits on health. Now research suggests that having a sense of purpose or direction in life may also be beneficial."
"Despite assertions that coolness sells products, little is known about what leads consumers to perceive brands as cool." ~ Caleb Warren and Margaret C. Campbell, "What Makes Things Cool? How Autonomy Influences Perceived Coolness," forthcoming in the Journal of Consumer Research.
A brief summary and analysis of the study's findings:
Although researchers do not agree on a specific definition of coolness (Dar-Nimrod et al. 2012; Kerner and Pressman 2007), a canvas of the literature reveals agreement on four defining properties. One, coolness is socially constructed. Cool is not an inherent feature of an object or person but is a perception or an attribution bestowed by an audience (Belk, Tian, [...]
"The more beards there are, the less attractive they become—giving clean-shaven men a competitive advantage, say scientists in Sydney, Australia. When 'peak beard' frequency is reached, the pendulum swings back toward lesser-bristled chins—a trend we may be witnessing now, the scientists say."
"The disturbing imagery or violent themes of videos games like World of Warcraft or Grand Theft Auto are often accused of fostering feelings of aggression in players. But a new study shows hostile behavior is actually linked to gamers’ experiences of failure and frustration during play — not to a game’s violent content."
"Analysis of swimming pool water samples, combined with the results of experiments involving chlorination of uric acid, and chlorination of body fluid analog mixtures, indicated that uric acid chlorination may account for a large fraction of CNCl formation in swimming pools. Moreover, given that uric acid introduction to pools is attributable to urination, a voluntary action for most swimmers, these findings indicate important benefits to pool water and air chemistry that could result from improved hygiene habits on the part of swimmers," says Science, but we should note that this study was partially funded by the National Swimming Pool Foundation, [...]
"New research discovers a nearly fivefold increase in risk for heart attack in the two hours following outbursts of anger."
Do you feel as if the future looks bright and the greatest times of your life are still ahead of you? Then you must be 24, because a "survey of retired people found the life changing highlights etched on their brains happened before they reached age of 25." It's all downhill from there, and if you're worried that you wasted your teenage years and the first half of your 20s, too bad: You may as well pick out the least terrible moment from that period now and settle in on it as the good old days, because soon enough your that's [...]
[Scientists] found similar differences among another group of campers, who were instructed to to listen to music as they walked. The guide told them to focus on the music, asking them, for instance, where they heard the music more clearly.Wansink documented that the music-focused walkers consumed far fewer M&M's offered up as a snack after the stroll, compared to participants who had just focused on the exercise of walking.
Some other possible life tips based on this research: While at work, drink—your shift will feel like a party, and you won't need to go out afterward. Instead of "doing chores" around the house, tell your friends, and yourself, that [...]
"Having a good hair day can make you feel like you can take on the world. Scientists believe that a blow dry may affect your mindset far more than previously thought. In fact, seeing yourself as physically attractive can make you to believe you belong in a higher social class. As a result you are also more likely to believe people lower down in a hierarchy are there because they deserve to be, according to researchers at Stanford Graduate School of Business in California."
"The study revealed when it came to picking a playmate, the babies seemed more tolerant of unfairness when the white recipient benefited from it. They picked the fair experimenter less often when the unfair experimenter gave more toys to the white recipient rather than the Asian one. The researchers say this implies that babies can take into account both race and social history when deciding which person would make a better playmate."
"The size and racial makeup of a city, the price of a meal and even the weather can skew the quality and quantity of online restaurant reviews, according to the first large-scale academic study to analyze how outside factors affect crowd-sourced review sites."
"A new study from New Zealand explores aversion to happiness, and how various cultures react differently to feelings of well-being and satisfaction. Graduate student Mohsen Joshanloo and Dan Weijers, Ph.D., of the Victoria University of Wellington discovered the reason some people avoid being positive, happy, and satisfied with life is because they have a lingering belief that happiness causes bad things to happen."
"A diet rich in meat, eggs, milk and cheese could be as harmful to health as smoking, according to a controversial study into the impact of protein consumption on longevity."
"The survey of more than 2,500 Americans found that about 1 in 4 said they had experienced a 'great deal' of stress in the previous month. And these stressed-out people said one of the biggest contributors to their day-to-day stress was watching, reading or listening to the news."
"Several large research studies conducted over the past few years show that a person's personality naturally changes over the course of adulthood, in response to life events such as entering a committed relationship or advancing in a career. From the ages of 20 to 65, people report increases in positive traits, such as conscientiousness, and decreases in negative traits, such as neuroticism. Most people tend to become more agreeable, more responsible, more emotionally stable—in other words, their personalities improve. Psychologists call it the Maturity Principle. Researchers have also long known that friendly, outgoing, responsible people tend to be happier than shy, irresponsible, unsociable people. But in a new twist [...]
This is hard to believe, but it turns out that exposing children to the bright screens and flickering lights of television may not in fact help soothe them. The good news is now we also have tablets and smartphones with which to instruct children that they need never be alone with their own thoughts when there is a surface nearby on which something will pop up to provide distraction, so soon enough everyone will be ruined for sustained contemplation and we will thus hasten along this species' destruction in a way that simply fucking up the planet through development and use of fossil fuels might not achieve on its [...]
"Five portions of fruit and vegetables a day – a familiar mantra for those concerned about their own and their children's health – may not, after all, be enough, according to a new report by scientists, who suggest we should instead be aiming for seven a day, and mostly vegetables at that. Alarmingly for some who thought they were doing the right thing, tinned and frozen fruit may not be helpful at all."
"Want to stop those cravings for chocolate or junk food? A new study finds that one way to combat that self-destructive behavior is to have someone make you feel sad."