How we use our smartphones twice as much as we think

SmartphonePeople use their smartphones for an average of five hours a day – about a third of the time they are awake – and check them about 85 times a day, research suggests. 

The study in the journal PLOS ONE compared the amount of time participants estimated they spent on their smartphones with their actual usage.

It found that people were accessing their phones twice as often as they thought.

Dr David Ellis, a psychologist at Lancaster University, said: “Psychologists typically rely on self-report data when quantifying mobile phone usage in studies, but our work suggests that estimated smartphone use should be interpreted with caution.”

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Children’s self-esteem already established by age 5, new study finds

Excited boyBy age 5 children have a sense of self-esteem comparable in strength to that of adults, according to a new study by University of Washington researchers.

Because self-esteem tends to remain relatively stable across one’s lifespan, the study suggests that this important personality trait is already in place before children begin kindergarten.

“Our work provides the earliest glimpse to date of how preschoolers sense their selves,” said lead author Dario Cvencek, a research scientist at the UW’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS).

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Researchers find link between air pollution and heart disease

Air pollutionResearchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have found a link between higher levels of a specific kind of air pollution in major urban areas and an increase in cardiovascular-related hospitalizations such as for heart attacks in people 65 and older.

The findings, published in the November issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, are the strongest evidence to date that coarse particulate matter – airborne pollutants that range in size from 2.5 to 10 microns in diameter and can be released into the air from farming, construction projects or even wind in the desert – impacts public health. It has long been understood that particles smaller in size, which typically come from automobile exhaust or power plants, can damage the lungs and even enter the bloodstream. This is believed to be the first study that clearly implicates larger particles, which are smaller in diameter than a human hair.

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What’s in a name? More than you think…

Video Gamer on Couch

What’s in a name? In the case of the usernames of video gamers, a remarkable amount of information about their real world personalities, according to research by psychologists at the University of York.

Analysis of anonymised data from one of the world’s most popular computer games by scientists in the Department of Psychology at York also revealed information about their ages.

Professor Alex Wade and PhD student Athanasios Kokkinakis, a PhD student on the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council-funded Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence (IGGI) project, analysed data from League of Legends, a game played by around 70 million people worldwide..

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Working up a sweat may protect men from lethal prostate cancer

Man sweating after a workoutA study that tracked tens of thousands of midlife and older men for more than 20 years has found that vigorous exercise and other healthy lifestyle habits may cut their chances of developing a lethal type of prostate cancer by up to 68 percent.

While most prostate cancers are ‘clinically indolent,’ meaning they do not metastasize and are nonlife-threatening, a minority of patients are diagnosed with aggressive disease that invades the bone and other organs, and is ultimately fatal. Lead author Stacey Kenfield, ScD, of UCSF, and a team of researchers at UCSF and Harvard, focused on this variant of prostate cancer to determine if exercise, diet and smoke-free status might have life-saving benefits.

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Scarcity, not abundance, enhances consumer creativity, study says

Even in an age of affluence and abundance in which round-the-clock consumerism and overspending are the norm, limits and constraints can still serve a purpose. According to new research co-written by a University of Illinois expert in new product development and marketing,

Resource scarcity translates into enhanced consumer creativity, according to new research co-written by University of Illinois business professor Ravi Mehta. CREDIT Photo by University of Illinois College of Business

Resource scarcity translates into enhanced consumer creativity, according to new research co-written by University of Illinois business professor Ravi Mehta.
CREDIT
Photo by University of Illinois College of Business

A general sense of scarcity activates a constraint mindset that manifests itself through increased novelty in subsequent product-usage contexts – that is, limits force consumers to think beyond the traditional functionality of a given product, thus enhancing product-use creativity, says published research from Ravi Mehta, a professor of business administration at Illinois.

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Positive stimuli provides benefits to the distracted brain

Researchers at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois have identified how your mind processes and differentiates between positive and negative distractions when you're trying to get a job done. CREDIT: Illustration by Julie McMahon

Researchers at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois have identified how your mind processes and differentiates between positive and negative distractions when you’re trying to get a job done.
CREDIT: Illustration by Julie McMahon

You’re walking up your driveway, laden down with groceries, your cell phone glued to your ear. Your mother has just shared your elderly aunt’s phone number, and you’re repeating it as you walk to the door of your house. Suddenly a stray dog, barking and snarling, races across the lawn. Are you able to remember the number?

Rewind the situation and, instead of the barking dog, see a cute puppy bounding across the yard. Do you remember the number now?

Researchers at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are investigating how your brain processes distractions when you’re trying to get a job done.

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Sleep interruptions worse for mood than overall reduced amount of sleep, study finds

a man is awake when his wife is sleeping

As they report in the November 1 issue of the journal Sleep, researchers studied 62 healthy men and women randomly subjected to three sleep experimental conditions in an inpatient clinical research suite: three consecutive nights of either forced awakenings, delayed bedtimes or uninterrupted sleep.

Participants subjected to eight forced awakenings and those with delayed bedtimes showed similar low positive mood and high negative mood after the first night, as measured by a standard mood assessment questionnaire administered before bedtimes. Participants were asked to rate how strongly they felt a variety of positive and negative emotions, such as cheerfulness or anger.

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How do young women view the relationship in Fifty Shades of Grey?

Fifty shades of misteryExamining women’s perceptions of the relationship between Christian and Anastasia in the popular movie Fifty Shades of Grey is a safe and valuable way to discuss healthy and unhealthy relationship dynamics, including the warning signs of intimate partner violence.

Young women expressed mixed views, describing parts of the movie relationship as exciting and romantic and other aspects as controlling, manipulative, and emotionally abusive in a new study published in Journal of Women’s Health, a peer-reviewed publication fromMary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available to download free on theJournal of Women’s Health website.

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Parents’ top fears about teen cellphone use

photodune-413004-teen-girl-using-cellphone-xsParents’ fears about their teenagers’ heavy use of cell phones and social media may be exaggerated, according to a new report from Duke University researchers. However, there are important exceptions in the areas of cyberbullying and sleep disruption.

“Each generation worries about how young people are using their time,” said Candice Odgers, associate professor in Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy and associate director of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy. “We see young people constantly on their phones and assume ill effects, but much of the research to date tells a more positive story.”

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