Links for Tony Delroy Stories December 4

Being true to yourself may protect against the harmful effects of loneliness

Contentment. Jubilant Ecstatic Old Woman Holding Ice-Cream and LaughingA lot has been written about the downward spiral of loneliness, writes Dr Christain Jarrett for the British Psychological Society.

People who crave more social contact often develop behaviours and thinking styles that only serve to accentuate their isolation, such as turning to drink and becoming more sensitive to perceived slights and rejections. Less studied is the question of whether some people have personality traits that give them a buffer against these loneliness-related risks. A new study published in the Journal of Health Psychology finds a promising candidate that appears to fit this description – authenticity, or being true to yourself.

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Quick Thinkers Are Charismatic

Charisma may rely on quick thinking, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

The research shows that people who were able to respond more quickly to general knowledge questions and visual tasks were perceived as more charismatic by their friends, independently of IQ and other personality traits.

“Our findings show that social intelligence is more than just knowing the right thing to do,” says psychological scientist William von Hippel of the University of Queensland in Australia. “Social intelligence also requires an ability to execute, and the quickness of our mind is an important component of that ability.”

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Oregon research suggests color affects ethical judgments of brands

Studies show blue is ‘greener’ than green when it comes to signaling environmental friendliness.

University of Oregon and University of Cincinnati researchers have found that everyday shoppers make assumptions about brands that use green colors. The findings, published in the Journal of Business Ethics, hold ethical implications for environmentally friendly branding.

Through a series of studies, lead researcher Aparna Sundar, a professor of marketing in the UO’s Lundquist College of Business, and co-author James Kellaris of UC’s marketing department uncovered evidence that color shapes opinion about eco-friendliness.

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‘Sport shoppers’ bargain hunt simply for the thrill of it, new research finds

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For some, shopping is a pursuit akin to an athletic competition, according to San Francisco State University professors Kathleen O’Donnell, associate dean of the School of Business, and Judi Strebel, chair of the marketing department. In new research just published online, the two define what it means to be a “sport shopper.”

“This is somebody who takes great pride in their ability to get the thing they want at a discount,” O’Donnell said. “It’s not about spending the least, it’s about saving the most.”

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Loneliness triggers cellular changes that can cause illness, study shows

Lonely senior manLoneliness is more than a feeling: For older adults, perceived social isolation is a major health risk that can increase the risk of premature death by 14 percent.

Researchers have long known the dangers of loneliness, but the cellular mechanisms by which loneliness causes adverse health outcomes have not been well understood. Now a team of researchers, including UChicago psychologist and leading loneliness expert John Cacioppo, has released a study shedding new light on how loneliness triggers physiological responses that can ultimately make us sick.

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Survey finds 90 percent overlook key to weight loss

Diets fail because people don’t address emotional aspects of food.

Tens of millions of Americans vow each year to lose weight in the New Year, and while their intentions are good, most of the time their results are not. It’s estimated that only 8 percent of those who make New Year’s resolutions actually keep them.

Even if weight is lost initially, it usually returns. Studies show nearly 2 out of 3 people who lose 5 percent of their total weight will gain it back, and the more weight you lose, the less your chances of keeping it off.

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Christmas period may reduce quality of life for many Europeans

Sad man suffering from hangover after ChristmasMany Europeans do not experience the run-up to Christmas as a particularly jolly time, and often feel despondent and stressed, reports a new study published in the Springer journal Applied Research in Quality of Life. However, the study suggests Christians, particularly those who are very religious, are the exception to this pattern.

In a study on Christmas and subjective well-being (SWB), Michael Mutz of Georg-August-Universität Göttingen in Germany analysed large-scale data from the European Social Survey (ESS) for eleven historically Christian European countries: Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. In the two ESS rounds Mutz used, the SWB of respondents was measured by asking how satisfied they were with their lives and how they would rate their emotional state. The author then compared the data for respondents questioned in the pre-Christmas (16-26 Dec.) and post-Christmas (27-31 Dec.) periods to those questioned at other times of the year (excluding July and August).

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Gene mutation linked to reckless drunken behavior

Drunk CustomerUniversity of Helsinki researchers have identified a genetic mutation which renders carriers susceptible to particularly impulsive and reckless behaviour when drunk. More than one hundred thousand Finns carry this mutation.

Many Finns know somebody whose behaviour becomes excessively strange and erratic when drunk. They are said to be unable to “hold their liquor”, and others are surprised at how inebriated they become from just a small amount of alcohol. Since the trait seems permanent, it can be assumed that there are underlying biological factors.

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