There’s often nothing more isolating than being told to “cheer up” or “it’s not so bad” when in the throes of a rough patch. Even when it’s clear that a shift in perspective or a perkier outlook could make a situation seem better, it’s not always possible to just flip an internal switch and suddenly decide to feel better. A new study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology reminds us of what psychologists have been saying for years — that these “positive reframing” phrases, which we use in an attempt to create perspective, are sometimes anything but helpful. Keep reading »
Our worst fears are confirmed: TV is bad — like, really bad — for our health. Anyone could have hypothesized that tons of binge-watching isn’t ideal, but as it turns out, watching more than an hour of TV per day is plain dangerous.
For the study, researchers from the University of Navarra in Spain observed 13,284 participants over the course of four years. They found that those who watched three or more hours of TV a day had a doubled risk of mortality compared to those who watched less than an hour per day.
Well, that’s dark. Keep reading »
Researchers have found evidence that watching rom-coms and sitcoms impact our views on love. TV seems to shape our view of reality in every other realm of life, so I’m not exactly shocked it’s also true for romance.
Why Dave Is Still Single, a study by University of Michigan researchers, asked participants how frequently they watch rom-coms, marriage-themed reality shows and sitcoms.They discovered that participants who watch a lot of rom-coms and romantic reality shows were more likely to believe in things like love at first sight and “The One” – you know, the stuff that keeps us forever alone because we’re stubbornly waiting for some ever-elusive meet cute with a Ken doll that will never arrive. These participants were more likely to agree with phrases like “My ‘true love’ will be nearly perfect” or the concept that they’d know immediately if their significant other was right for them. Keep reading »
Trophy wives may be nothing but a myth perpetuated by sexist research, according to a new study. Researcher Elizabeth Aura McClintock of Notre Dame reviewed the data from a large set of young adult heterosexual couples, looking to find out how people really choose their partners. She looked into two different reasons that drive pairing up – matching and exchange. Matching is a search for a partner who is similar in education levels, looks and other traits. Exchange is more the more “trophy wife”-style notion of a person trading their looks or status for a partner who has something they don’t.
Surprisingly, she found that in the past people have misinterpreted the evidence of exchange relationships. In examining couples, researchers only looked at the women’s appearance and the men’s status and disregarded data on women’s status or men’s attractiveness. They were so certain they’d find a specific result (in this case, proof of exchange relationships) that the studies were skewed. More problematic to the skewed data is the fact that rich people are more likely to be good-looking, and vice-versa. (The reasons for that correlation open a whole other can of worms about whether being pretty makes it easier to get rich in the first place, but that’s another post for another day). Keep reading »
It’s pretty clear from any real-life dating experience or missed meet-cute that people aren’t too great at picking up on flirtatious signals, but now science is able to prove it. The research, conducted by the University of Kansas consisted of two studies. The first study gathered 52 pairs of single, heterosexual college students who thought the study was about first impressions. The pairs would chat for 10-12 minutes. Afterward, they’d fill out questionnaires separately that asked whether they’d flirted and whether they thought their conversation partner had. Participants were over 80 percent correct in knowing when the other person was not flirting, but only 36 percent of men and 18 percent of women noticed when the other person was flirting with them. Keep reading »
One of the biggest reasons I take pictures on the regular is a fear of forgetting, but as it turns out, all those pictures may be making my memories more likely to go fuzzy. There are so many small, delicious slices of life that I’m afraid will slip away forever or go undocumented somewhere in my head if I don’t snap a quick photo. I worry that I’ll lose perspective on the way I thought and felt during whole chunks of my past, though I suppose we’re all doomed to lose memories to some degree as we get older. What I should do about this is keep more of a written record of things, but instead I resort to the quicker method of taking photos. Thanks to smartphones with cameras and their all-too-easy to access apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, we’re all falling down a rabbit hole of constant capturing. You know when you go to a concert and everyone is holding their phone up to take a video instead of listening to the live music they paid for? Yeah, I’m pretty sure that wasn’t always normal. Keep reading »