The Mysteriously Long Lives of Male Holocaust Survivors

Last week, a study appeared in PLoS ONE, the peer-reviewed journal published by the Public Library of Science, that drew attention in Israel but made barely a ripple here: That men who’d survived the Holocaust lived longer — significantly longer — than their peers who’d never been under Nazi oppression. Continue reading

Pull Up Self-Sabotage by the Roots

What is self-sabotage?

Self-sabotage is a term we throw around a lot . We know what it is in a general sense or when we see someone doing it. But what is it really?

When we talk about self-sabotage, we are talking about getting in our own way. It’s not something someone else is doing. We are doing things ourselves that cause the problems that bother us so much. It might be as simple as eating more than one cookie when we are on a diet to choosing the absolutely wrong partner over and over. Continue reading

Why 8 Hours of Sleep a Night Just Isn’t Natural

Long after the lights go out every night, millions of Americans are lying in bed awake. Tossing and turning, their minds racing over the day’s accomplishments or tomorrow’s tasks, keeping them up well into the night. For others, it’s just blackness and frustration. As the tiredness mounts, the sleep still won’t come.

According to a 2011 poll, Continue reading

Pessimism about the Future May Lead to Longer, Healthier Life, Research Finds

Optimistic older adults face greater risk of disabilities and death, study report

Older people who have low expectations for a satisfying future may be more likely to live longer, healthier lives than those who see brighter days ahead, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

“Our findings revealed that being overly optimistic in predicting a better future was associated with a greater risk of disability and death within the following decade,” said lead author Frieder R. Lang, Continue reading

Multiple Media Use Tied to Depression, Anxiety

Using multiple forms of media at the same time – such as playing a computer game while watching TV – is linked to symptoms of anxiety and depression, scientists have found for the first time.

Michigan State University’s Mark Becker, lead investigator on the study, said he was surprised to find such a clear association between media multitasking and mental health problems. What’s not yet clear is the cause.

“We don’t know whether the media multitasking is causing symptoms of depression and social anxiety, or if it’s that people who are depressed Continue reading

Beating Depression with Natural Methods

Many folks treat their depression with psychotherapy or prescription antidepressant drugs. And though many experts think a combination of these two are effective, no scientific evidence supports this supposition. In reality, simple, natural measures like more sleep, exercise and efforts at sustaining a positive attitude work better to combat depression than medication.

Widespread Effects

Depression affects more than 20 million Americans and represents a serious mental health problem. It is believed to involve a genetic predisposition and the chemical composition of the brain, where symptoms like loss of energy, fatigue, Continue reading

Walking through Doorways Causes Forgetting, New Research Shows

We’ve all experienced it: The frustration of entering a room and forgetting what we were going to do. Or get. Or find.

New research from University of Notre Dame Psychology Professor Gabriel Radvansky suggests that passing through doorways is the cause of these memory lapses.

“Entering or exiting through a doorway serves as an ‘event boundary’ in the mind, which separates episodes of activity and files them away,” Radvansky explains.

“Recalling the decision or activity that was made in a different room is difficult because it has been compartmentalized.”

The study was published recently in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.

Conducting three experiments Continue reading

The Serotonin System in Women’s Brains is Damaged more readily by Alcohol than that in Men’s Brains

After only four years of problem drinking, a significant decrease in the function of the serotonin system in women’s brains can be seen. This is the system that regulates such functions as impulse control and mood. It takes 12 years before a corresponding decrease is seen in men. This is the conclusion of multidisciplinary research carried out at the Department of Psychology and the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

The research group in the multidisciplinary project Gothenburg Alcohol Research Project (GARP) has studied for the first time three of the major neurotransmitter substances in the brain in a single individual. They have studied a group of women and a group of men with alcohol dependence. The results will be published in January 2012 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

“We have used what is known as neuroendocrine techniques to show that it is principally the serotonergic system Continue reading

Clemson Researcher Says High Blood Pressure May Lead to Missed Emotional Cues

Your ability to recognize emotional content in faces and texts is linked to your blood pressure, according to a Clemson University researcher.

A recently published study by Clemson University psychology professor James A. McCubbin and colleagues has shown that people with higher blood pressure have reduced ability to recognize angry, fearful, sad and happy faces and text passages.

“It’s like living in a world of email without smiley faces,” McCubbin said. “We put smiley faces in emails to show when we are just kidding. Otherwise some people may misinterpret our humor and get angry.”

Some people have what McCubbin calls “emotional dampening” that may cause them to respond inappropriately to anger or other emotions in others. Continue reading

Researchers Have Found Evidence for the Existence of a Hypnotic State

The key was in the glazed staring eyes

Researchers have found evidence for the existence of a hypnotic state — the key was in the glazed staring eyes

A multidisciplinary group of researchers from Finland (University of Turku and Aalto University) and Sweden (University of Skövde) has found that strange stare may be a key that can eventually lead to a solution to this long debate about the existence of a hypnotic state.

One of the most widely known features of a hypnotized person in the popular culture is a glazed, wide-open look in the eyes. Paradoxically, this sign has not been considered to have any major importance among researchers and has never been studied in any detail, probably due to the fact that it can be seen in only some hypnotized people. Continue reading

Psychopathic Killers: Computerized Text Analysis uncovers the Word Patterns of a Predator

As words can be the soul’s window, scientists are learning to peer through it: Computerized text analysis shows that psychopathic killers make identifiable word choices – beyond conscious control – when talking about their crimes.

This research could lead to new tools for diagnosis and treatment, and have implications law enforcement and social media.

The words of psychopathic murderers match their personalities, which reflect selfishness, detachment from their crimes and emotional flatness, says Jeff Hancock, Cornell professor of computing and information science, and colleagues at the University of British Columbia in the journal Legal and Criminological Psychology. Continue reading

Primary Schoolchildren that sleep less than 9 hours do not Perform

A study by the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB in Spanish) and Ramón Llull University have researched the relationship between the sleeping habits, hours slept, and academic performance of children aged between six and seven years of age. Experts have found that sleeping less than nine hours, going to bed late and no bedtime routine generally affects children’s academic skills.

“Most children sleep less than is recommended for their intellectual development, which is hindered because the lack of sleep cannot be recovered. This is the first Spanish study that proves that losing out on hours of sleep and bad habits affect schoolchildren’s academic performance,” stated Ramón Cladellas, researcher at the Faculty of Psychology at the UAB. Continue reading

Television Food Commercials Influencing Kids to Demand for Unhealthy Foods

Parents have suspected all along that television commercials are leading their kids to request sugary, fatty or salty foods, and now researchers at the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society in the U.K., have confirmed this suspicion.

A team of scientists found that children who watched commercials for fast food or unhealthy snacks before a cartoon were more likely to choose such foods after their program, when compared to kids who viewed advertisements for toys.

“Obesity in young children is now a major health concern around the world. Our studies highlight that there are global connections between advertising, food preferences and consumption,” said researcher Emma Boyland.

She noted that  Continue reading

Have A Nice Day/Week/Month/Year/Life!

Have you ever been so depressed that you could not concentrate at work, were short and irritable with people close to you, had no energy or just couldn’t care about anything?  Then your depression is taking too large a toll and there are things you can do and skills you can develop.

True depression is a clinical state and may need serious, even medical, attention.  The interesting truth is that when most people say, “I’m depressed,” what they are really saying is “I’m disappointed.”  It’s easy to point at a situation or person as the culprit; but most often, we are actually disappointed with decisions we have made, in what we’ve done, what we haven’t done, what we’ve said or haven’t said, or with whom we’ve chosen to align ourselves.  We are disappointed by choices we have made.

People who have a Positive Mental Attitude rarely get “down.”  Continue reading

Desirable Behavior Should Be Instilled by Parents and not from Television or the Computer

Parents that allow their children to spend lots of time on the computer and in front of the television may be inadvertently contributing to an epidemic rise in “multiple-risk behaviors” (MRBs) among adolescents, suggests a new study published in the Journal of Preventative Medicine. High computer use, say researchers, can lead to a 50 percent increased risk of developing MRBs like drug use, drunkenness, and unprotected sex.

When children are exposed to violence, wild partying, and other negative things through video games, television shows, and various internet content, they tend to adopt those behaviors themselves. Rather than develop life habits through natural exposure to family and friends, media-addicted youth  Continue reading