By this point, meteorologists have collected enough information to build detailed maps of weather across the United States. But a team of researchers in Oklahoma and Tennessee have suggested a new kind of map that tracks what people think the weather is like in different parts of the country. The researchers were especially interested in…

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As I’ve written about before, people give gifts for a range of reasons – sometimes simply to do something nice, sometimes because they want to influence others. A new study from researchers in Italy sheds light on another function gifts can serve: increasing teamwork and cooperative performance. In the study, 32 pairs of close friends…

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People like animals. People also like to eat animals. This presents an obvious problem. It’s challenging to make a convincing case to yourself that you think animals are cute and want to protect their welfare in between swallowing mouthfuls of pork. You might recognize this as a classic example of cognitive dissonance, where people have…

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Berries commonly star on lists of “brain-boosting” foods. As I’ve talked about before, there’s some evidence for the idea that berries can enhance cognitive functioning, although it’s not an open-and-shut case. The latest study to examine the relationship between berries and brain functioning comes in liquid form – specifically, in the form of a 400…

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There’s more than one way to look at a situation. You can look in concrete terms at the details of the situation by itself, and the specific details of it. You can also think in more abstract terms, by looking at how the situation relates to other situations and considering how it fits into the…

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Can’t make up your mind? Here’s a simple trick. Flip a coin to decide. And if you don’t like the outcome of the coin flip, well, sounds like you’ve made up your mind! A recent study from researchers in Switzerland looks at how flipping a coin can help with making a tough decision. The researchers…

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We’ve all had the experience of looking back and feeling nostalgic about a particular time in our lives. A slightly more complicated feeling is looking forward to the future to imagine how we’ll one day look back on the present with nostalgia. Psychologists call this experience anticipated nostalgia. Another way to describe it, as in…

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When you were a kid, maybe you read The Little Engine That Could, a story about a modest train locomotive whose persistence pays off. One possible reason for this story’s popularity is that many parents see persistence as a core ingredient for life success to pass on to their children. This emphasis on hard work…

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