If there’s an upside to adversity, it might be greater empathy for others. That idea makes a certain intuitive sense to us, and there’s some evidence to support it. Take, for example, a 2016 study published in the journal Emotion. In the study, psychology researchers collected information about how much adversity people had encountered 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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It’s hard to be concerned with lofty philosophical principles when you’re hungry. A new study from researchers at University of Chicago underscores this point in the context of an ethical dilemma that children face every day: whether to share. Of course, children aren’t the only ones who need to remember to share, but this particular…

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Teaching is a stressful job. From managing a classroom, to taking work home at night, to trying to adequately explain new concepts and keep pace with a curriculum at the same time, teachers have a lot of demands to juggle. That’s a problem not just for teachers, but for the education system as a whole.…

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If your parents told you to always say your thank yous when you were growing up, chances are they understood on some intuitive level that these two simple words carry a lot of power. Now there’s some science to back that idea up. A study published in Journal of General Psychology asked 136 participants to…

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Finally you get the long-awaited envelope! You tear it open and read the first sentence. We regret to inform you… No one likes getting a rejection letter. And few people like writing them either, possibly with some sadistic exceptions. Is it even possible to write a good rejection letter? Actually, a new study from researchers…

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Many psychologists believe that gratitude is an especially powerful emotion. People who are more grateful tend to be happier, with higher emotional intelligence. They may also be more ethical, according to a new study. In a paper titled The Grateful Don’t Cheat: Gratitude as a Fount of Virtue, researchers from Northeastern University and Pennsylvania State…

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Psychologists increasingly believe gratitude to be a powerful emotion that can boost happiness and wellbeing. Gratitude is interesting not only because of its links to happiness but because it’s something we intentionally cultivate in our lives. One way of doing so is through gratitude exercises. Recently, psychology researchers in Brazil tested the effects of a…

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“Thanks! I owe you!” Maybe you’ve said that when someone has done a favor for you. Feeling thankful and feeling like you owe someone are related to each other, but it turns out these two emotions aren’t quite the same. Interestingly, feeling grateful seems to be a more other-focused emotion while feeling in debt to…

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