Couples who have sex weekly are happiest

Affectionate seniorsMore sex may not always make you happier, according to new research published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

“Although more frequent sex is associated with greater happiness, this link was no longer significant at a frequency of more than once a week,” lead researcher Amy Muise said. “Our findings suggest that it’s important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner, but you don’t need to have sex everyday as long as you’re maintaining that connection.”

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Positive emotions more contagious than negative ones on Twitter

Expression & Positive Emotions. Amiable Old Woman with Beaming Toothy Smile

An analysis of 3,800 randomly chosen Twitter users found that emotions spread virally through Twitter feeds – with positive emotions far more likely to spread than negative ones.

“What you tweet and share on social media outlets matters. Often, you’re not just expressing yourself – you’re influencing others,” said Emilio Ferrara, lead author of the study and a computer scientist at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Information Sciences Institute. Ferrara collaborated with Zeyao Yang of Indiana University. Their study was published by the journal PLOS One on Nov. 6.

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Long distance love affair

Smart womanWhat people believe they want and what they might actually prefer are not always the same thing. And in the case of being outperformed as an element of romantic attraction, the difference between genuine affinity and apparent desirability becomes clearer as the distance between two people gets smaller.

In matters of relative performance, distance influences attraction. For example, someone of greater intelligence seems attractive when they’re distant or far away in your mind. But less so when that same person is right next to you, according to a new study by a University at Buffalo-led research team published in the latest edition of the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

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Frequently monitoring progress toward goals increases chance of success

photodune-6671270-goal-xsIf you are trying to achieve a goal, the more often that you monitor your progress, the greater the likelihood that you will succeed, according to research published by the American Psychological Association. Your chances of success are even more likely if you report your progress publicly or physically record it.

“Monitoring goal progress is a crucial process that comes into play between setting and attaining a goal, ensuring that the goals are translated into action,” said lead author Benjamin Harkin, PhD, of the University of Sheffield. The study appears in the journal Psychological Bulletin. “This review suggests that prompting progress monitoring improves behavioral performance and the likelihood of attaining one’s goals.”

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Why we look at pretty faces

The areas we typically scan when viewing a face for several seconds. The red areas show what we look at most, with colors gradually changing to blue for the areas that receive less attention. Here, a picture of the researcher herself - Olga Chelnokova. Photo: Lasse Moer/ UiO.

The areas we typically scan when viewing a face for several seconds. The red areas show what we look at most, with colors gradually changing to blue for the areas that receive less attention. Here, a picture of the researcher herself – Olga Chelnokova. Photo: Lasse Moer/ UiO.

A quick glimpse of a face provides us with rich information about the person in front of us. Are we acquainted? Man or woman? Happy or angry? Attractive?

In her PhD thesis, conducted at the Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Olga Chelnokova has explored how our visual system is able to direct attention to the most important information in a face. Her study suggest that evolution has made us experts on faces.

“We are very curious about others’ faces, we read stories in them and evaluate their aestetic value”, says Chelnokova.

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Moderate coffee drinking may lower risk of premature death

Drinking coffeePeople who drink about three to five cups of coffee a day may be less likely to die prematurely from some illnesses than those who don’t drink or drink less coffee, according to a new study by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers and colleagues.

Drinkers of both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee saw benefits, including a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, type 2 diabetes, and suicide.

“Bioactive compounds in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation,” said first author Ming Ding, a doctoral student in the Department of Nutrition. “That could explain some of our findings. However, more studies are needed to investigate the biological mechanisms producing these effects.”

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Power isn’t enough: Study reveals the missing link for effective leadership

B1euz5rxaKS._UX250_New research from Columbia Business School shows that powerful leaders fail to listen properly and take others’ accounts into perspective, jeopardizing the impact they could have.

With the National Football League in full damage-control mode, there are many questions about how the NFL’s leader handled the Ray Rice case. Was Goodell ignoring the pleas of stakeholders–former NFL players, the media and domestic violence groups–when deciding on a two game penalty? The answer may lie in a study out today by Columbia Business School.

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People tend to locate the self in the brain or the heart

Jigsaw puzzle of human head with red heart. Vector illustration.

Whether people locate their sense of self in the brain or the heart can have a major influence on people’s decision-making, according to a new study by management and business experts at Rice University and Columbia University.

Overall, the study found people tend to locate the self in the brain.

The paper, “Who You Are Is Where You Are: Antecedents and Consequences of Locating the Self in the Brain or the Heart,” will be published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

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Whether you are territorial, a girlfriend stealer or a cross-dresser, it’s in your genes

Whether you’re territorial, a girlfriend stealer, or a cross dresser – when it comes to finding a partner, scientists have discovered that for some birds it’s all in the genes.

Individual animals usually exhibit flexibility in their behaviour, but some behaviours are genetically determined.

Using genome sequencing, researchers from the University of Sheffield have now identified the genes that determine the striking mating behaviour of the males of a wading bird known as the ruff.

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How we use our smartphones twice as much as we think

 Barcode of smartphone use over two weeks. Black areas indicate times where the phone was in use and Saturdays are indicated with a red dashed line. Weekday alarm clock times (and snoozing) are clearly evident.

Barcode of smartphone use over two weeks.
Black areas indicate times where the phone was in use and Saturdays are indicated with a red dashed line. Weekday alarm clock times (and snoozing) are clearly evident.

People 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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