Links for stories with Tony Delroy ABC Radio August 26

Study finds people's spiritual awareness varies throughout the day

People who report having spiritual awareness have it vary throughout the day, rather than being constant, according to a study by University of Connecticut researchers.

The study, which will be presented at the 110th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA), found that people had the highest levels of spiritual awareness in the morning and while engaged in activities such as praying, worship, and meditation. Spiritual awareness also was high when people listened to music, read, or exercised. It was low while people were doing work-related activities or playing video games.

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Want a better relationship and a better sex life?

Father comforts a sad childIf men take up more of the child-care duties, splitting them equally with their female partners, heterosexual couples have more satisfaction with their relationships and their sex lives, according to new research by Georgia State University sociologists.

The research was presented Aug. 23 at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.

Daniel L. Carlson, along with graduate students Sarah Hanson and Andrea Fitzroy used data from more than 900 heterosexual couples’ responses in the 2006 Marital Relationship Study (MARS).

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One technique therapists use that really helps depressed patients

Depressed Young Man Talking To CounsellorSome depressed patients may be hoping for answers from their therapists, but a new study suggests questions may be the key.

Researchers examined how cognitive therapy for depression achieves its positive effects. Their study is the first to show that depressed patients see substantial improvements in their depressive symptoms when their therapists use a technique called “Socratic questioning.”

These are a series of guided questions in which the therapist asks a patient to consider new perspectives on themselves and their place in the world.

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The body and the brain: The impact of mental and physical exertion on fatigue development

Do you ever notice how stress and mental frustration can affect your physical abilities? When you are worried about something at work, do you find yourself more exhausted at the end of the day? This phenomenon is a result of the activation of a specific area of the brain when we attempt to participate in both physical and mental tasks simultaneously.

Ranjana Mehta, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, conducted a study evaluating the interaction between physical and mental fatigue and brain behavior.

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New study reveals Tetris can block cravings

Playing Tetris on a smartphone. CREDIT Plymouth University/Lloyd Russell

Playing Tetris on a smartphone.
CREDIT
Plymouth University/Lloyd Russell

Playing Tetris for as little as three minutes at a time can weaken cravings for drugs, food and activities such as sex and sleeping by approximately one fifth, according to new research.

In the first test of its kind to study people in natural settings outside of a laboratory, participants were monitored for levels of craving and prompted to play the block-shifting puzzle game at random intervals during the day.

Psychologists from Plymouth University and Queensland University of Technology, Australia, found that playing Tetris interfered with desires not only for food, but also for drugs, including cigarettes, alcohol and coffee, and other activities. The benefits of playing Tetris were maintained over the seven-day study period.

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Demand for coffee can create ecological, economic rift with poorer nations

The explosion in worldwide coffee consumption in the past two decades has generally not benefitted farmers of coffee beans in poorer nations along the equator.

A University of Kansas (KU) researcher studying trade and globalization has found that the shift to “technified” coffee production in the 1970s and 1980s has created harsher economic and ecological consequences for heavy coffee-producing nations, such as Honduras, Colombia, Guatemala, Brazil, Vietnam and Ethiopia.

“Historically, coffee has been exploited by the West in various ways, because it’s consumed in rich countries, and grown in poor ones,” said Alexander Myers, a KU doctoral candidate in sociology.

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