Poverty on the mind: Bad decisions ahead?

Poverty on the mind: Bad decisions ahead?
Whether in a U.S. shopping mall or Indian farm country, cognitive load — the burden of thinking about getting enough money to pay the bills — reduces the ability to concentrate, focus and make decisions. More »

Social network, Indian edition

Social network, Indian edition
A massive study looks at how ideas pass through social networks in 43 Indian villages, then offers a new definition of “well connected.” It’s not how many people you know — it’s who they are. More »

Screaming about screen time?

Screaming about screen time?

We spend ever-more hours with TV, cellphones, tablets and computers, is it rude or necessary to always answer your phone? Does distraction make you dumb? What about multitasking? More »

Losing in politics & sports

Losing in politics & sports

What’s the attachment to “my” team? How do we deal with the inevitable disappointment? Are murder and suicide now “part of the game”? And what about politics? More »

Holiday blue? NOT!

Holiday blue? NOT!

Sick of the scare stories about holiday stress? Over-eating, over-this, over-that? What’s the upside of holidays, in terms of ritual and getting together with family and friends? What’s more conducive to happiness: giving or receiving? More »

Civil war: Changing a stuck mind

2 men with arms around each other smiling

After six decades, the Palestine-Israel stalemate seems hopeless. But could that very hopelessness be blocking a solution? A new study of people on both sides of the struggle shows that learning about the peaceful resolution of other intractable conflicts can increase their willingness to compromise – a key to peace. More »

Prayer: How does it work?

Prayer: How does it work?

How do victims of domestic violence benefit from prayer? A series of interviews shows a range of mechanisms: from zoning out to offering psychic protection to allowing forgiveness. A new study shows how real benefits could emerge from an appeal to an “imaginary other.” More »

April Fool’s – no joke for some people

April Fool’s – no joke for some people
For some people, laughter is a threat, conveying anger, disapproval and humiliation. In the strange world of the gelotophobe, laughter can actually make you feel worse. If you fear laughter, you tend to stay away from crowds, groups, restaurants — and the pranksters afoot on April Fools’ Day. More »

Studying survival on a sinking ship

black and white photo, detail of ship bow with people on deck, lifeboats above attached to ship
The Titanic sank in 1912, the Lusitania sank in 1915. In each case, about 32 percent of passengers survived. But women and children did much better on Titanic, which took 160 minutes to slide underwater, than on Lusitania, which went down in 18 minutes. Ditto for rich people. Why? More »

Autism debate: Does an epidemic continue?

Autism debate: Does an epidemic continue?
The long rise may be inflated by redefinition of autism, social acceptance of the disabled and desire for services. If this is a real epidemic, it’s even more critical to find the cause. More »

Imitation: Better than flattery?

Imitation: Better than flattery?

Imitation is a social glue in human society. We like people who imitate us. We call them friend. We will even tip them better! A new study finds similar responses in monkeys… More »

Warm hand = warm heart?

Warm hand = warm heart?

Study finds that holding a warm cup of coffee for a few seconds can make us see other people as warmer, more outgoing. How come? More »

Autism: An Update

With autism rates on the rise, researchers are trying to uncover the biological keys to the disorder. More »