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]
A new study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology has found that relationships, much like most things in life, are all about perspective. When you see love as a beautiful journey of growth and occasional struggle, your love life is more likely to prosper. When you want your relationship to be perfect or believe you have one and only soul mate to “complete” you, you’re likely to have a tough time sustaining happiness in love. Luckily, improving that kind of emotional rut is as easy as a simple shift in perspective. The study divides views on love into two “frames” — a union between two halves who are made for each other, or a journey with ups and downs. To better explain the unity concept, the research team linked it to an Aristotle quote: “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” People who see love like a journey, on the other hand, are more likely to relate to traditional wedding vows that promise to love one another for better or for worse. Keep reading »
Women gain intelligence faster than men as society improves, potentially because of a need to learn more quickly in order to combat discrimination, according to a new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Researchers behind the study argue that in fighting extra hard to succeed in a world traditionally dominated by men, women have had to develop the ability to learn more quickly. Because women spent centuries receiving less cognitive nurturing than men, they may simply be catching up as the world becomes a more equal place. I guess this is a compliment …? Keep reading »