Tony Delroy’s NightLife links for stories.

People in their 60s uniquely benefit from giving advice despite fewer chances to offer it

Senior Man Hugging Adult Son

According to the study, which appears in the March issue of Social Psychology Quarterly, individuals in their 60s who report giving advice to a wide variety of people — to family members, friends, neighbors, and strangers — see their lives as highly meaningful, while adults in that age group who dispense advice to fewer types of people are much less likely to report high life meaning.

“This association between advice giving and life meaning is not evident for other age groups,” said Markus H. Schafer, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Toronto and the lead author of the study. “Overall, we interpret these findings to suggest that the developmental demands of late midlife — particularly the desire to contribute to others’ welfare and the fear of feeling ‘stagnant’ — fit poorly with the social and demographic realties for this segment of the life course. Just when giving advice seems to be most important, opportunities for doing so seem to wane.”

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When women feel their partner demands perfection, sex life suffers

Credit: George Hodan/public domain

Credit: George Hodan/public domain

In the first in-depth study of how different types of sexual perfectionism affect women over a period of time, researchers also found that ‘partner-prescribed’ sexual perfectionism contributed to negative self-image.

Perfectionism is defined as a ‘striving for flawlessness and the setting of exceedingly high standards for performance, accompanied by tendencies for overly critical self-evaluations and concerns about negative evaluations by others’. It is a common personality characteristic that may affect all domains of life. However, the longer term consequences of how it affects people’s sex life had previously not been explored.

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Eating beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils may help lose weight and keep it off

bean, lentils and pea abstractEating one serving a day of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils could contribute to modest weight loss, a new study suggests.

Eating about 3/4 cup (130 grams) each day of these foods known as pulses led to a weight loss of 0.34 kilograms (just over half a pound), in a systematic review and meta-analysis of all available clinical trials on the effects of eating pulses.

The paper, by lead author Dr. Russell de Souza, a researcher with the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital, was published today in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Conservatives and liberals do think differently

  • Liberals more likely than conservatives to use ‘Aha!’ strategy to solve problems
  • People don’t consciously choose an insight versus analytic approach in their thinking
  • Thinking defaults automatically to particular approach of problem solving

EVANSTON, Ill. — Big differences in the ways conservatives and liberals think about solving the nation’s most pressing problems couldn’t be more apparent during this presidential election cycle.

But political ideas aside, people who hold conservative versus liberal perspectives appear to differ in everyday thinking processes and problem solving, according to research from Northwestern University and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC).Left And Right Politics

When solving short (non-political) verbal problems in an experiment, liberals were more likely than conservatives to achieve solutions with a sudden insight or “Aha!” In contrast, both groups achieved roughly an equal number of solutions through gradual, analytical processing.

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Successful dying: Researchers define the elements of a ‘good death’

Line between life and deathFor most people, the culmination of a good life is a “good death,” though what that means exactly is a matter of considerable consternation. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine surveyed published, English-language, peer-reviewed reports of qualitative and quantitative studies defining a “good death,” ultimately identifying 11 core themes associated with dying well.

The findings are published in the April 2016 issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

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Not all mind wandering is created equal

DaydreamingMind wandering–sometimes seen as daydreaming or “zoning out”–has been shown to facilitate creative thinking and problem solving, but in the wrong context it can become distracting or even dangerous. Inattentive students can get behind in class, and drivers who aren’t paying attention to the road are far more likely to end up in accidents. And for some professions, like surgeons or air traffic controllers, zoning out on the job can lead to disaster.

Most research looking at mind wandering has assumed that all mind wandering is inherently unintentional, but findings from a new study suggest otherwise: People frequently report zoning out on purpose, and the causes of this “intentional” type of mind wandering can differ from the causes of unintentional mind wandering.

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Personality influences how one reacts to email errors

shock and stress

You no who you aer: the person who thinks its her job too catch every typo or gramatical errur?

This behavior is partly the result of personality traits that influence how people react to written errors, according University of Michigan linguistics experts.

Extroverted people are likely to overlook typos and grammatical errors that would cause introverted people to judge the person who makes such errors more negatively.

“This is the first study to show that the personality traits of listeners/readers have an effect on the interpretation of language,” said Julie Boland, U-M professor of linguistics and psychology, and the study’s lead author. “In this experiment, we examined the social judgments that readers made about the writers.”

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Study looks at why people may feel more helpless in stressful situations than others

Why do some people handle stress better than others? CREDIT:  courtesy of

Why do some people handle stress better than others?
CREDIT: courtesy of

Stress – we’re all too familiar with it. More of us than ever are feeling the relentless pressure of busy lives and it is taking its toll. In the US, stress related ailments cost the nation $300 billion every year in medical bills and lost productivity.

But it seems some people are able to cope with this problem much better than others. Some individuals are resilient, while others succumb to despair. The reason, scientists have discovered, is all in the brain.

Mapping the brain activity in mice when placed under stress, scientists have found that mice showing helpless behavior had vastly different brain activity from those displaying resilient behavior.

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Feeling older increases risk of hospitalization, study says

Ill senior woman in hospital

“How old you feel matters. Previous research has shown it can affect your well-being and other health-related factors and, now we know it can predict your likelihood of ending up in the hospital,” said the study’s lead author, Yannick Stephan, PhD, of the University of Montpellier in France. The research, which comprised more than 10,000 adults across the U.S., was published in the journal Health Psychology.

Despite previous studies showing an association between health-related issues and subjective age, this is the first study to test whether feeling older is linked to a higher risk of hospitalization, according to the article. Stephan and co-authors Angelina R. Sutin, PhD, and Antonio Terracciano, PhD, of Florida State University, analyzed data from three longitudinal studies conducted from 1995 to 2013 with participants ranging in age from 24 to 102. They found that those who reported feeling older than their actual age had a 10 to 25 percent increased likelihood of being hospitalized over the next two to 10 years when controlling for age, gender, race and education. The findings replicated across the three samples.

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