Meaningful work not created — only destroyed — by bosses, study finds

The BossBosses play no role in fostering a sense of meaningfulness at work – but they do have the capacity to destroy it and should stay out of the way, new research shows.

The study by researchers at the University of Sussex and the University of Greenwich shows that quality of leadership receives virtually no mention when people describe meaningful moments at work, but poor management is the top destroyer of meaningfulness.

Published in MIT Sloan Management Review, the research indicates that, rather than being similar to other work-related attitudes, such as engagement or commitment, meaningfulness at work tends to be intensely personal and individual, and is often revealed to employees as they reflect on their work.

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Links for Tony Delroy NightLife Stories June 10

You laugh differently with friends than you do with strangers (and listeners can tell the difference)

laughter on the roadThe amount and type of laughter between two people can potentially tell us much more than that they are sharing a joke writes Lucy Foulkes for the British Psychological Society.

For example, friends laugh more than strangers, and shared laughter can be an indicator of sexual interest between a couple. But as onlookers, how well can we use the sound of laughter to make these kinds of inferences? A new study in PNAS is the first to investigate this and it turns out, regardless of our culture or where we live, we are pretty good at using laughter to identify the nature of other people’s relationships.

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Fish can recognize human faces, new research shows

Archer FishA species of tropical fish has been shown to be able to distinguish between human faces. It is the first time fish have demonstrated this ability.

The research, carried out by a team of scientists from the University of Oxford (UK) and the University of Queensland (Australia), found that archerfish were able to learn and recognize faces with a high degree of accuracy — an impressive feat, given this task requires sophisticated visual recognition capabilities.

The study is published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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Chivalry is not dead when it comes to morality

 We’re more likely to sacrifice a man than a woman when it comes to both saving the lives of others and in pursuing our self-interests, a team of psychology researchers has found.

“Our study indicates that we think women’s welfare should be preserved over men’s,” observes Oriel FeldmanHall, a post-doctoral researcher at New York University and the study’s lead author.

The research, conducted at Cambridge University’s Medical Research Council’s Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit and Columbia University, appears in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

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Strangers reach mutual understanding through talking and asking questions, not from non-verbal cues

Two Businesswomen outdoors talking.Psychologists at The University of Texas at Arlington have discovered that when two strangers meet and interact for the first time, the extent to which they develop mutual understanding depends on how much they talk and ask questions rather than on non-verbal cues such as gestures or exchanging glances.

The UTA researchers used a specialized linguistic program to measure the extent that two strangers “get in synch” linguistically, providing new insight into the processes that underlie how people come to understand each other when they meet for the first time.

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Teenage boys who show empathy attract 1.8 more girlfriends than boys who don’t

Indian Teen BoyBoys high in cognitive empathy attracted an average of 1.8 more girl friendships than low empathy counterparts, as revealed by a landmark study – When Empathy Matters: The Role of Sex and Empathy in Close Friendships.

The Australian Research Council-funded research, led by Professor Joseph Ciarrochi at the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education at Australian Catholic University, has been published in the Journal of Personality.

It is the first study to examine the extent that adolescent males and females select empathic classmates as friends. And the conclusion based on a study of 1,970 Year 10 students in Queensland and New South Wales (average age of 15.7 years) is that girls are more likely to nominate empathic boys as friends.

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Insufficient sleep cycle – especially for shift workers – may increase heart disease risk

photodune-4562856-sleeping-man--xsThe body’s involuntary processes may malfunction in shift workers and other chronically sleep-deprived people, and may lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.

Insufficient sleep and circadian rhythm (approximately 24-hour) disturbances both have been associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes but the cause is unclear. To determine the impact of circadian rhythm disturbances on cardiovascular function in sleep-deprived people, researchers studied 26 healthy people, age 20-39. The study participants were restricted to five hours of sleep for eight days (sleep restriction) with either fixed bedtimes (circadian alignment) or bedtimes delayed by 8.5 hours on four of the eight days (circadian misalignment).

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What happens when parents comment on their daughter’s weight?

"If you're worried about your child's weight, avoid criticizing them or restricting food. Instead, nudge healthy choices and behaviors by giving them freedom to choose for themselves and by making the healthier choices more appealing and convenient," -- Brian Wansink, Ph.D., Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab (Eating & Weight Disorders, 2016) CREDIT: Daniel Miller

“If you’re worried about your child’s weight, avoid criticizing them or restricting food. Instead, nudge healthy choices and behaviors by giving them freedom to choose for themselves and by making the healthier choices more appealing and convenient,” — Brian Wansink, Ph.D., Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab (Eating & Weight Disorders, 2016)
CREDIT: Daniel Miller

The less you comment on your daughter’s weight, the less likely she is to be dissatisfied with her weight as an adult according to a new study from the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

The findings published in Eating & Weight Disorders show that women who recall their parents commenting on their weight are more prone to being overweight and are less satisfied with their weight as adults. “Commenting on a woman’s weight is never a good idea, even when they are young girls,” says lead author Brian Wansink, PhD, and author of Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life.

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Babies don’t just look cute, scientists find

babyWhat is it about the sight of an infant that makes almost everyone crack a smile? Big eyes, chubby cheeks, and a button nose? An infectious laugh, soft skin, and a captivating smell? While we have long known that babies look cute, Oxford University researchers have found that cuteness is designed to appeal to all our senses.

They explain that all these characteristics contribute to ‘cuteness’ and trigger our caregiving behaviours, which is vital because infants need our constant attention to survive and thrive. The study is published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences.

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