How a Sense of Purpose Can Help You Live Longer

Recognizing what you want out of life and having a plan to achieve it is an important part of emotional well-being at any point in our lives. Still, a new research study published in the journal Development Psychology demonstrates that having a purpose in life is especially important in successful aging, both as a way of managing stress and preventing depression.

Finding a Life Partner, Part Two

While David Buss points out that we all come from a long line of ancestors who have been fairly successful in the mating game which, in theory, means that we are all equipped to succeed ourselves, Menelaos Apostolou isn’t so optimistic. The rules under which we live in modern society are very different from what our ancestors took for granted.

Finding a Life Partner, Part One

Can evolutionary psychology help explain why it seems so hard to have a successful intimate relationship? A new article published in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences investigates the enigma of human mating choices and the evolutionary forces shaping us today.

Can We Prevent Firearm Suicides?

A new article published in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry explores the reality behind firearm-related suicide in the United States. Written by Carol Runyan, Talia Brown, and Ashley Brooks-Russell of the Colorado School of Public Health, this article points out many of the popular misconceptions about suicide that may be contributing to the problem we face today.

When Your Mind Wanders

Why do our minds wander and what do we think about when we are unable to concentrate on what we are doing? Research into mind wandering suggests that it isn't quite the time waster that people often believe it to be. A new review article suggests that mind wandering may have evolved as a way of making us more creative.

How Can We End Bullying?

A new review article published in American Psychologist tackles the thorny question of what actual works in bullying prevention programs. Written by Catherine P. Bradshaw of the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education, the article examines recent research evaluating the effectiveness of anti-bullying programs and makes some recommendations for the future.

Exploring Facebook Depression

There's no question that Facebook is popular given its 1.23 billion active users in countries around the world. In many ways, Facebook seems to be a perfect social tool for staying in contact with friends and family members without ever needing to leave the house. So why do so many Facebook users report feeling depressed and lonely? The answer may be surprising.

Are Teenagers Getting Enough Sleep?

A new review study outlines much of the research looking at the different consequences of sleep loss in adolescents and why parents need to take this more seriously. The consequences of young people going without sleep can be far worse than you might think.

When Men Face Sexual Harassment

While over half of all women in the workplace report experiencing some form of sexual harassment on the job, the issue of sexual harassment of men is starting to get more media attention. A new study looks at the kind of sexual harassment that men can often face on the job. The results may be surprising.

What Do Women Really Want?

Some researchers have named those qualities that women look at in choosing a mate as the Three Gees - good genes, good providers, and good fathers. Men who can demonstrate all three of these qualities stand the greatest chance of winning the mate selection competition. But how important are these traits? New research from China puts the Three Gees to the test.

How Big a Fan Are You?

Being a devoted fan often means developing a sense of "belonging" to a larger fan community. That sense of belonging is definitely going to shape the sense of identity that many fans have and it helps explain the enthusiasm you often see at fan conventions, music concerts, and sports arenas around the world.

Being a Book Lover

Being a heavy reader is far less common than it used to be. European surveys suggest that leisure reading has dropped significantly in favour of watching television, for example. Still, books can have a powerful influence on readers. A new research study shows there are far more benefits to reading than you might think.

Feeling Grateful and 'Paying it Forward'

According to the "find, remind, and bind" theory of gratitude first proposed by psychologist Sara B. Algoe, gratitude plays a role in cementing the social bonds we have with other people. A new research study published in the journal Emotion suggests that grateful are more likely to copy body movements of those who help them which can help cement new relationships.

Can Healthy Living Reduce Cancer Risk? (Part Two of Two)

According to available statistics, roughly fourteen million people worldwide were newly diagnosed with cancer in 2012 alone. That same year saw about eight million cancer deaths. How many of those deaths might have been prevented using available medical knowledge about cancer risks? And how many more cancer deaths can we expect over the next three decades?

Can Healthy Living Reduce Cancer Risk? (Part One of Two)

According to available statistics, roughly fourteen million people worldwide were newly diagnosed with cancer in 2012 alone. That same year saw about eight million cancer deaths. How many of those deaths might have been prevented using available medical knowledge about cancer risks? And how many more cancer deaths can we expect over the next three decades?

Remembering 9/11

Exceptionally vivid memories we have concerning traumatic events have a way of staying with us long after other memories fade with time. Known as "flashbulb memories", they are a form of autobiographical memory that are especially powerful due to surprise and shock that ensures that the memory stays with us. 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.

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