Metaphors Really Are Powerful (But You Won’t Believe Us If You Happen To Be Smelling Something Fishy)

fishy

Research psychologists call them metaphorical effects: “instances in which a metaphor commonly used to describe a psychological state or social reality can, in turn, induce that state or reality. So, for example, holding a warm cup of coffee makes people feel warmly toward each other … and cleaning one’s hands makes a person feel morally clean.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Do Broccoli Eaters Get More Out Of Life?

broccoli

Of course we do! “People [in a recent study] who ate more fruits and vegetables over the 13-day period reported higher average levels of curiosity, creativity, and positive emotions, as well as engagement, meaning, and purpose.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Why It’s So Hard to Catch Your Own Typos

type

“If we are our own harshest critics, why do we miss those annoying little details? The reason typos get through isn’t because we’re stupid or careless, it’s because what we’re doing is actually very smart.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Inside The Head Of A Moscow Shaman

mark-208

“All my ancestors were healers and performed rituals, even my surname Guslyak means ‘sorcerer’. Once a day my body convulses for 15-20 minutes. Reality changes in this condition and it takes special powers in order to return to normality. I still don’t understand everything.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Lucid Dreaming: The Next Miracle Mental Technique?

lucid dreaming

Some people use it “to solve problems, spur creativity, overcome nightmares or practice a physical skill.” Researchers are seeing early indications that the technique can improve cognition and help alleviate depression. “Many of the studies are small, however, and it isn’t always clear whether lucid dreaming is responsible for the improvements or simply linked to them.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

What Does Anna Karenina Look Like? How We Visualize What We Read

anna karenina

“Most authors wittingly or unwittingly provide their fictional characters with more behavior than physical description. Even if an author excels at physical description, we are left with shambling concoctions of stray body parts and random detail. We fill in gaps. We shade them in. We gloss over them. We elide. Our mental sketches of characters are worse than police composites.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Even Dogs Get That Eureka! Feeling (And So Do Cows)

dog eureka

Recent research from Sweden found “that when dogs solved the problem and earned a reward they wagged their tails more and were more eager to repeat the experience than if they were just given a reward.” The study was inspred by earlier research showing a similar effect in cattle. (How could they tell?)

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Your Brain Needs Vacations (Seriously)

brain vacation

“If you’re feeling overwhelmed, there’s a reason: The processing capacity of the conscious mind is limited. This is a result of how the brain’s attentional system evolved.” (Simple daydreaming definitely counts as brain vacation, but it’s not. enough.)

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

“Fighting” Illness: The Trouble With Metaphors In Medicine

medical metaphors

“Metaphors are a fundamental mechanism through which our minds conceptualize the world around us, especially in the face of complexity. But evidence suggests they do more than explain similarities – they can invent them where they don’t exist, and blur the lines between the literal and the figurative.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

What Does A Minute Feel Like?

a minute

For that matter, what is a minute, really? Newton “believed that time was absolute – marked by God’s great metronome in the sky. It was certainly not subjective.” Einstein once wrote, “People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” And then there’s David Lamelas’s conceptual piece Time.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Who Are We? (And Other Fundamental Things That Define Us As Human)

2014_29human

“Why are we the only species on earth that is concerned about things that don’t directly concern our survival or that of our offspring? Porcupines do not look up at the night sky and wonder what all the sparkly bits are; weasels don’t worry about what other weasels think of them; lobsters really don’t enjoy pub quizzes.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Why Is The Internet Blue?

blue internet

Facebook inventor Mark Zuckerberg’s “version of the internet is profoundly blue, bluer than any internet before, for a reason he didn’t realize was personal until long after the decision was made.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Could A Three-Day Work Week Really Work?

work week

Maria Konnikova: “When we own more of our time, we feel like we’re in charge of our lives and our schedules, which makes us happier and, ultimately, better at what we do. Our health and happiness also increases in the course of our lifetimes and, with it, our value to the workplace and to society as a whole. Additionally, we may finally recover from chronic sleep deprivation.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Neuroscientists Find Differences In Brains Of Heroes

heroes

“There were 16 heroes, including 11 women, who rescued the trapped man. Nineteen others, including 12 women, passed by without helping. The remaining 8 tried to help but gave up – they were omitted from the subsequent brain analysis because they were so few in number.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Virtual Reality – Coming Soon To A World Around You

Google Cardboard, virtual reality

“Advances in graphics, computing power and interface devices such as the Nintendo Wii or Microsoft Kinect have opened the door to a new level of sophistication of virtual reality, he says. Most important, though, has been the continuing drop in cost of virtual reality technology, a trend largely driven by the gaming industry.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Facebook Can Sell You Anything, Including Krill Oil, But How?

facebook sticky notes

“In June, the social network accounted for about one of every six minutes that Americans spent online, and one of every five minutes on mobile phones, according to comScore, a research company. Mothers, the typical household’s chief buyer of consumer products, are among the most dedicated users, spending nearly four times as many minutes on Facebook as other people.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Actually, Some Material Goods CAN Make You Happy

some goods can make you happy

“It’s been the refrain of behavioral economists … for years: Spend your money on experiences, not things. A vacation or a meal with friends will enrich your life; new shoes will quickly lose their charm. That’s true, but it’s not the whole story, argue psychologists Darwin A. Guevarra and Ryan T. Howell in a new paper … Not all goods, they say, should be lumped together.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Research Archive Meets Warehouse Meets Database Meets Flea Market: Behold The Accumulibrary

accumu

“Unlike modern libraries, the Accumulibrary doesn’t segment or segregate media types. It fails to differentiate documents from things, books from periodicals from pamphlets, devices from objects, the new from the used from the old, the rare from the common. The sole laws that it holds sacred are the law of number and the law of stuff.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Is Your Name Your Destiny?

names

“Names work hard: They can affect who gets into elite schools, what jobs we apply for, and who gets hired. Our names can even influence what cities we live in, who we befriend, and what products we buy since, we’re attracted to things and places that share similarities to our names.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Get Happy! Scientists Work On Finding Out What That Means

happiness-concept

“To track happiness they had to figure out what signaled the feeling and then decide how best to measure that. That ability to track emotion, which is part of a broader field called sentiment analysis, is a nut that everyone from Facebook to the National Security Agency (NSA) is trying to crack, and Dodds and Danforth believe they have found a granular way to do it.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

What People Think Of You Based On Your Photo

what people think

“It’s impossible to deduce personality traits from a quick glance at a duckface iPhone photo. But a new study finds that, when it comes to first impressions, certain facial features do tend to convey specific personality characteristics to others with shocking consistency. You may not be an approachable-yet-dominant sexpot, but you sure look like one in your Facebook photo.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Gee – We REALLY Don’t Like To Be Alone With Our Own Thoughts

0727BUSY-master495

“In 11 experiments involving more than 700 people, the majority of participants reported that they found it unpleasant to be alone in a room with their thoughts for just 6 to 15 minutes. Moreover, in one experiment, 64 percent of men and 15 percent of women began self-administering electric shocks when left alone to think.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter