Remembering 9/11

"Flashbulb memories" are a form of autobiographical memory that are especially powerful due to surprise and shock. But how accurate are these memories?

Grief, Loneliness, and Losing a Spouse

Sooner or later, every married couple will face the prospect of their relationship coming to an end, whether due to death or divorce. For those people dealing with the loss of a spouse, overcoming loneliness represents the greatest challenge in moving on with life afterward. A new study looks at how grief and loneliness are linked to depression in older adults.

How We Fall Out of Love

Though there has been extensive research looking at the psychology of romantic love, is it possible to learn what can cause people to fall out of love with their significant other? For that matter, how is it possible to move on after a relationship comes to an end? A new article published in Review of General Psychology raises some intriguing questions about this.

Forgiveness and Your Health

A new study shows that forgiveness can be a strong predictor of different measures of cardiovascular health for both husbands and wives. Even when marital satisfaction was taken into account, people scoring high on forgiveness measures had lower heart rates, blood pressure, and better cardiovascular efficiency than subjects with continued to hold grudges.

How to Survive a Slasher Film

Do you think you're trapped in a slasher film? A new research study published in the journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture provides an in-depth look at Final Girls over three decades of slasher films and what it was that enabled them to survive to the end of the movie. The study results may surprise you.

Losing a Family to Suicide

A recent issue of the journal Crisis includes a moving case study of a South Korean man whose depressed wife had committed suicide by jumping off a building with her young son in her arms. How can someone move on after such a loss?

Becoming a New Parent

Becoming a first-time parent can have a dramatic impact on many people, both in terms of the stress they experience and the impact that it has on marital satisfaction and emotional well-being. New parents can report considerable stress for different reasons. A new study investigates different factors than may undermine a parent's ability to handle this life transition.

Defending the Right to Sick Leave

Though it may seem counter-intuitive, recent research suggests that presenteeism, or the act of showing up for work despite being sick may actually be even more costly to employers than absenteeism is. According to statistics, estimated costs of presenteeism to U.S. employers are more than $150 billion dollars each year. A new study explores why.

Being in the Sandwich Generation

For family members providing full-time care for someone with Alzheimer's disease or one of the other major dementias, dealing with the emotional, behavioural, and cognitive problems that only become worse with time is a major burden with few real alternatives. Tthe conclusions show that caregiver stress is a major problem for children of parents with dementia.

Can You Get Addicted to Your Smartphone?

A new research study published in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication suggests that even a temporary loss of smartphone use can have an impact on the ability of heavy smartphone users to complete simple puzzles. The results suggest that not having a smartphone can lead to separation anxiety and problems with concentration.

Loneliness, Chronic Illness, and Growing Older

A new research study published in the journal Health Psychology presents the results of an eight-year longitudinal study looking at the link between chronic illness and feelings of loneliness in older adults. Not surprisingly, chronic loneliness was highest for older adults with a history of health problems. How can they learn to cope with feeling isolated?

Can Personality Help You Live Longer?

One of the main traits in the Five Factor Model of Personality, conscientiousness is linked to goal direction and being less likely to give in to spontaneous impulses. That can be important when it comes to sticking to a regular exercise schedule or diet as well as avoiding unhealthy lifestyle choices such as drinking or smoking. But can it help you live longer?

Why We Take Risks

Research into risky decision-making suggests we are more impartial when asked to evaluate risk for other people than we are when we do these risky behaviours ourselves. Not only are we less likely to be swayed by cognitive biases in weighing risks for others, but we are less likely to let our emotions get in the way. What are some of the cognitive biases linked to risk?

Happy Holidays!

May the holiday season bring you glad tidings and hope for the coming year.

Can Irrational Health Beliefs Be Bad For Your Heart?

Irrational health beliefs are a strong influence over whether or not patients drop out of cardiac rehabilitation programs. Though other factors such as age, income, and ethnic background can play a role as well, targeting irrational health beliefs may help encourage heart patients to stay in these programs longer and adopt healthy habits that can prevent future problems.

Learning to Live Together, Jaffa Style

The recently-founded Class Exchange Program underway in Jaffa, Israel involves helping Arab and Jewish youngsters in Israel learn together to promote mutual understanding, respect and friendship through joint classes in arts, music and drama at the unique Arab-Jewish Center in Jaffa. A new research study evaluating the program suggests that it may help reduce tensions.

The Marital Selection Minefield (Part Two)

Last week, I talked about research describing some of the strategies that parents may rely on to influence the mating choices of their children. But what about when children are dealing with parents who either disapprove of their mating choices or try to persuade their children to marry someone of their choosing? A new research examines this question in more detail.

The Marital Selection Minefield Part One

What happens if your parents disapprove of who you've chosen to spend your life with? Or, maybe, even worse, what if your parents try to set you up with someone that you don't find appealing? How can parents and their children learn to agree about something so important? Research into this thorny issue yields surprising answers.

The Rise of the Robot Therapist

Over the past few decades, we've seen a rise in different interactive technologies and new ways of using them to treat various mental problems. This includes online, computer-based, and even virtual reality approaches to cognitive-behavioural therapy, among other things. But what about using robots to provide treatment and/or emotional support?

Can We Control the Aging Process?

Whlle aging is an inevitable part of life, there are still things we can do to slow down the aging process, or at least to ensure that we can remain as mentally and physically fit as we possibly can over time. Lifestyle changes can play an increasingly strong role in buffering many of the physiological changes linked to aging.

Surviving the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

On April 20, 2009, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon, an offshore drilling rig owned by Transocean Ltd resulted in the deaths of twenty oil workers and created a fireball that could be seen more than forty miles away. What followed was the worst oil spill in U.S. history. How have those living in affected areas been able to cope?

Getting That Exercise Habit

For older adults, staying the course means developing confidence that the exercise program is helping you stay healthy and that you are making progress in meeting the health goals you set or yourself when you started. The key is to develop a feeling of self-efficacy about staying fit. A new research study explores what works best to motivate people to exercise.

How Angry Is Your Baby?

Research studies suggest that young children responding with excessive anger to blocked goals, such as taking away a favorite toy, can help identify whether they might be at risk for later problems, such as delinquency. Children experiencing stress early in life have more difficulty controlling anger because their normal emotional development has been disrupted.

Keeping Rural Veterans Alive

Telehealth has become an important treatment tool over the past two decades. Using videoconferencing, Skype, and other services, veterans can talk face-to-face with mental health professionals right in their own homes instead of traveling for hours in some cases. This allows veterans to seek help anonymously if they are afraid of the stigma involved with mental illness.

Can Action Video Games Boost Short-term Memory?

Can understanding how playing action video games such as Call of Duty enhance short-term memory and attention skills help children and adults with memory deficits live more productive lives? A new research study suggests that this may be the case.

Sleeping Your Way to a Longer Life

Along with medical problems including lower resistance to disease, fatigue, and problems at work, getting too much or too little sleep has also been linked to obesity, cardiovascular problems, being more accident-prone, and hypertension. The amount of healthy sleep you get can also predict overall mortality rate.

What Would Make You Allow Torture?

Are there limits to our refusing to allow torture? While public opinion polls have been consistent in reporting that only 30 to 40 percent of the general public endorsed the use of torture, knowing that the life of a loved one was at stake led to as much as 80 percent of research participants endorsing torture in some studies.

WHO Releases New Suicide Report

According to a new report, a person commits suicide every forty seconds somewhere in the world and, for every successful suicide, many more attempts are made. Among young people between fifteen and twenty-nine years of age, suicide remains the second most common cause of death worldwide.

Can Childhood Bullying Lead to Suicide?

Of all the negative outcomes associated with bullying, suicide is definitely the cause for greatest concern. Along with being the third-leading cause of death among 10 to 19-year-olds in the United States alone, the risk of suicide is even higher in people with psychiatric disorders. When bullying is involved, the risk is higher for bullies and their victims.

Can Media Use Cause ADHD Symptoms in Children?

A new meta-analysis published in Developmental Psychology shows a significant correlation between media use and measures of ADHD, including attention problems, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. There were significant sex differences (the correlation between media and ADHD symptoms was lower for girls). What can these results suggest for the future?