This article is part of the course THRIVE 102: Psychological Capital or How to Be a Hero. Jump to Course As a human species, do you think we are more naturally pessimistic or more naturally optimistic? Interestingly, Seligman and others in the field of positive psychology argue that we are naturally more pessimistic. From a…

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If you go to get a doctoral degree in psychology, you spend five years reading a bunch of psychology studies. Or so I’m told. I’ve never gotten a psychology doctorate. But I have done something more fun – I’ve written the AllPsych blog for five years. Fifty-five months is about 240 weeks, times three posts…

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When you read about a psychology study covered on this blog, or basically any published scientific study for that matter, you can rest easy knowing that the study has been through a process of rigorous peer review. Peer review is part of what gives published research its aura of credibility: papers that appear in peer-reviewed…

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A question that often comes up in music psychology is why so many people enjoy music that recalls negative emotions like sadness. It seems paradoxical that people would seek out and apparently experience positive feelings from music that portrays negative emotions. A new paper in the journal Frontiers in Psychology puts forward one possible explanation…

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Today, things are going to get a little meta. I’m going to write about a scientific study about writing about scientific studies. The basic question up for investigation is: why do the results of scientific studies on health-related topics so often get overstated when they’re covered in the media? You might already have a sense…

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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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Humans are evolved to recognize emotions in each other’s nonverbal behavior. To some extent, we apply that ability not just to other humans but to animals as well. Nowhere is this more true, perhaps, than in the case of dogs. As far as animals go, dogs can be pretty expressive in demonstrating their emotions, which…

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There are white lies, there are truly harmful lies, and then there are lies told for the sake of science. Scientists don’t always agree on whether the latter are acceptable, or how often. Many psychology experiments involve lying to participants. Of the studies I’ve written about on here, I’m sure there are plenty of examples,…

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Have you ever wondered if it would be possible to teach a rat to drive? Well, maybe not, but this is the kind of thing psychology researchers think about. In a new study, researchers at University of Richmond let rats take to the road in special “rat-operated vehicles.” As part of the experiment, the rats…

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