My first instinct when holding an absurdly cute, especially chubby baby is obviously to try to take a bite out of its leg. Am I weird? Maybe. I don’t have the willpower to resist a roll of chubby, baby thigh. It must be nibbled on. I feel similarly about cupcakes.
According to new research, this does not make me a psychotic, cannibal baby-eater. A study published in the latest issue of Frontiers in Psychology found that the smell of a fresh baby activates all kinds of crazy pleasure centers in women’s’ brains. When two groups of women — those who had given birth in the last six weeks and those who had never given birth — sniffed the pajamas of two-day-old infants, they all went wild, but the new mothers brains lit up like pinball machines hitting the high score. Why? Because baby smell triggers the same part of our brains that make us think we’ve found a cupcake when we’re starving. Keep reading »
This just in: a bit of science that will save you hours of scrolling through online profiles. A new paper published at University of California, Riverside found, in a series of four studies, that not only are men with higher facial width-to-height ratio (wider faces) more aggressive, less trustworthy and more prone to lying and cheating, but also — added bonus!– that their selfishness will rub off on you when you’re around them. Now that you know this, you might want to go ahead and add those wide-faced fellows to your do not date/work with/befriend list. Or take your chances and watch your morals constitution circle the drain. Your call. Now they just need to do a study to find out how facial structure predicts annoyingness, cheapness, commitment issues and crapiness in bed. [Science Daily]
When I was in sixth grade, I’d advanced far enough along in my math studies to be in pre-Algebra. I went to magnet school in Fort Worth, Texas, with a bunch of other smart kids who had tested into the advanced program, but when I walked into Mr. Zoromski’s math class, I felt suddenly out of my league. English and drama classes, even life sciences made sense, but math didn’t.
But instead of powering through, I found a smart boy in my class and had him help me. When I say “help,” I mean he practically did my homework every day. Where I’d previously been super keen on learning everything, that sixth grade year, I decided math wasn’t for me. That, in the words of Teen Talk Barbie, “math class is tough.”
And it may have something to do with the way my smart girl-ness was socialized. Keep reading »
Haters aren’t just gonna hate, they have to hate according to new research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The study looked at people’s “dispositional attitudes,” which are not simply a function of the thing someone’s evaluating, but rather an indication of the person evaluating them. Put in simpler terms, it’s the idea that the person who hates math may hate math, but tends to have a negative outlook on everything from algebra to your Instagram feed. You know that person. Or maybe you are that person. No judgement … I might be, too. Keep reading »
The morning of November 16th, I am going to wake up, strip off my pajamas, stand in front of the full-length mirror and bask in the glory of my own body. That is because I turn 34 on November 16, marking the first day of the year on earth in which I will be most delighted with the way my naked body looks. That’s according to a study by a UK-based skin and body care firm that says women are happiest with the way they look in the buff at age 34. I have to say, at three months shy of this gloriously self-assured birthday year, I’m feeling pretty damn good about my bod. The study posits that women feel most satisfied with their naked physiques at 34 because by that age many of us have figured out the best diet and exercise to suit our lives and body types. This is certainly true for me — this year, I’ve been far more invested in finding a fitness routine that interests me and have been eating healthier. Simply feeling better has made me look at my body with a new appreciation. Keep reading »
The majority of both men and women believe that men should be opening their wallets on dates, according to a new study. Most men and women presume that men should pay for most expenses, even after multiple dates, and in fact, a surprising number of guys feel guilty when a woman pays. Keep reading »
Overthinking everything is my Achilles heel. If I get into my Crazy Thinking Place, as I refer to it, I can loop around on one idea for hours, like a dog chasing its tail. It can be about anything — from what I want to eat for lunch to what I’m going to say when I have that heavy conversation — and where does it get me in life? Absolutely nowhere. All I’ve done is waste one hour of my life deciding which route to take so I can get done with my errands faster. Oh, the irony.
Scientist Taraz Lee of UC Santa Barbara was interested in the overthinking phenomenon that plagues so many of us, so he conducted a study about the effect of thinking on long-term memory and performance. “There are always examples of professional golfers who have the lead on the 18th hole, but when it comes down to one easy shot, they fall apart,” Lee explained. “That should be the time when it all comes out the best, but you just can’t think about that sort of thing. It just doesn’t help you.” Tell me about it. Story of my life. Keep reading »
A new study suggests that girls suffering from anorexia display similar personality traits to those with autism, such as lack of empathy, high focus on detail, and rigid behavior. In some instances, girls with anorexia scored five times higher in autistic qualities than non-anorexic girls on the Autism Spectrum Quotient. Keep reading »