A new study from Rutgers University and the University of Michigan has found that in a heterosexual marriage, a wife’s happiness is more important to the survival of the relationship than her husband’s. Researchers studied 394 couples who’d been married for an average of 39 years. The couples were asked questions about whether their spouse appreciates them, argues with them or gets on their nerves. They were also asked how happy they were during a 24-hour period while doing specific activities like errands or watching television. Most of the participants reported a high level of satisfaction with their lives, and if a woman reported being happy with her husband, he was more likely to be happy with life in general no matter how he felt about the marriage itself.
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“Men Are From Mars, Women Are Venus,” which implies men’s and women’s brains are hardwired differently, has pit people against each other for decades — some see at as sexist drivel while others see at as a groundbreaking truth. Gina Rippon, a neuroscientist and “gender difference denier” (yes, people actually call her this) who will speak at the upcoming British Science Festival this weekend, believes books like that one cause those gender differences in the first place. According to her, the only differences between our brains can be attributed to our minds adapting to gender stereotypes and taking them on as truth. Keep reading »
A new study from the University of New South Wales has found that expressing gratitude to new acquaintances will earn you friends. The study was put together to explore a theory that suggests that gratitude helps people create new relationships, build on the ones they already have, and help to maintain both. In an effort to test the “new relationships” aspect of that theory, researchers studied 70 university students who gave advice to younger peers. The students were told that they were mentoring high school students and critique their university admissions essays. Afterwards, the mentors received handwritten notes from their faux mentees, and only about half of those notes included an expression of thanks for assisting them with their essays. The mentors who were thanked were more likely to give the younger students their contact information and presumably continue the friendship. The mentors also reported warmer personalities when it came to the grateful mentees, and that warmth is probably why grateful people make lots of friends. Keep reading »
Straight ladies have Ryan Gosling. But lesbian ladies have better orgasms. Like, significantly better orgasms, according to a new study. Keep reading »
Yoga already has lots of known benefits, like better posture, flexibility and physical health, but now we can add something new to the list: increased brain function. According to new research through the University of Illinois, practicing hatha yoga three times a week helps you think more clearly, especially compared to stretching or toning exercises. The study examined a group of 100 people aged 55-79, and found that the 61 of them who practiced hatha yoga at least three times a week for eight weeks showed major improvement in ability to recall information, mental flexibility, and task-switching. The members of the group who did stretching and toning exercises for eight weeks instead of yoga showed no significant change in their cognitive abilities. The researchers controlled for other factors like gender, age or other demographic circumstances, so it’s pretty clear that yoga is the direct cause of the improvements. Keep reading »
Thought you left popularity contests behind in high school? WRONG. According to a new, weird study cited by NYMag.com, you’re at your most popular age at 29 years old, when a person has an average of 80 friends. This is compared with other age groups who suffer from a paltry 64 friends at a given time. Hmm,I have some qualms with this “study”: 80 friends-and-good-acquaintances maybe, but 80 friends sounds like an awful lot for one person, even in the social media age. And what’s the point of knowing how popular you are at a given age, anyway? Might not two or three good, solid close friends be better than 80 less dedicated ones (and they are less dedicated, because you’re going to lose some when you’re not 29 anymore)? Oh, well. Enjoy it while it lasts, 29-year-olds. [NYMag.com] [Image of birthday cake via Shutterstock]