Not everyone wants cheering up, new study suggests

People with low self-esteem have overly negative views of themselves, and often interpret critical feedback, romantic rejections, or unsuccessful job applications as evidence of their general unworthiness. A new study from researchers at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University found that they likely don't want you to try to boost their spirits.

Story links for Tony Delroy's Night Life show April 10

Working up a sweat — it could save your life

Physical activity that makes you puff and sweat is key to avoiding an early death, a large Australian study of middle-aged and older adults has found. The researchers followed 204,542 people for more than six years, and compared those who engaged in only moderate activity (such as gentle swimming, social tennis, or household chores) with those who included at least some vigorous activity (such as jogging, aerobics or competitive tennis).

Sticks and stones: Brain releases natural painkillers during social rejection, study finds

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me," goes the playground rhyme that's supposed to help children endure taunts from classmates. But a new study suggests that there's more going on inside our brains when someone snubs us - and that the brain may have its own way of easing social pain. The findings show that the brain's natural painkiller system responds to social rejection - not just physical injury.

Altering brain chemistry makes us more sensitive to inequality

What if there were a pill that made you more compassionate and more likely to give spare change to someone less fortunate? UC Berkeley scientists have taken a big step in that direction.

A new study by UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco researchers finds that giving a drug that changes the neurochemical balance in the prefrontal cortex of the brain causes a greater willingness to engage in prosocial behaviors, such as ensuring that resources are divided more equally.

The researchers also say that future research may lead to a better understanding of the interaction between altered dopamine-brain mechanisms and mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia or addiction, and potentially light the way to possible diagnostic tools or treatments for these disorders.

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Research debunks commonly held belief about narcissism

Contrary to popular belief, excessive use of first-person singular pronouns such as "I" and "me" does not necessarily indicate a narcissistic tendency, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

The brain game

Why are some people able to master a new skill quickly while others require extra time or practice? That was the question posed by UC Santa Barbara's Scott Grafton and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University. To find the answer, the team designed a study that measured the connections between different brain regions while participants learned to play a simple game.

Cold, callous and untreatable? Not all psychopaths fit the stereotype, says new study

Movie villains from Norman Bates to Hannibal Lecter have popularized the notion of the psychopath as cold, cruel, lacking in empathy and beyond the reach of treatment. A new study in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology suggests that this monolithic view, shared by some treatment professionals, is not only wrong but prevents many diagnosed with psychopathy, or precursors of it, from receiving therapies that could help them live happier, more productive lives.