Resilience, or being able to bounce back from adverse events, is a useful skill to have – if we didn’t already know that, 2020 has certainly driven the point home! Psychologists know that resilient people tend to share certain traits, such as finding meaning in events and trusting their ability to navigate challenging situations. And…

Read More

Embracing the pain might be make the pain less painful. That’s more or less the takeaway from a new study, detailed in a paper in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. In the study, researchers attached thermodes, or devices that can be used to apply varying levels of temperature, to participants’ arms. The thermodes were calibrated…

Read More

Do you find your hand regularly creeping up toward your head, despite recent advice from public health experts to keep your fingers and your face firmly separated? If so, you’re not alone. Even trivial habits like touching your face can prove surprisingly hard to shake. Psychologists have spent years investigating the question of how to…

Read More

From posttraumatic stress to sleep disturbances, recent studies have begun to confirm that the coronavirus pandemic has brought a range of mental health consequences. Now, an analysis of data from the US Census Bureau provides what appears to be some of the most robust evidence yet that 2020 saw a rapid decline in the United…

Read More

Do you ever wake up in the night and worry about what the future might hold? Well, if you’re an optimist, maybe not. A new study published in the Journal of Sleep Research indicates that viewing the world through rose-colored glasses may go hand-in-hand with a lower risk for chronic insomnia. If that’s the case,…

Read More

An ethical question raised by the pandemic is what to do about people who don’t take it upon themselves to follow public health recommendations. Generally, there are two approaches: educate people and punish them. The first involves informing people about the consequences of not following public health advice while the second is about imposing penalties…

Read More

Finding activities that bring positive emotions into your life has always been important, but it gained a new urgency when daily life was turned upside down by the pandemic. With lockdowns going into effect, everyday activities like working and socializing started to look different than they had before for many people. And some entirely new,…

Read More

Scientists can show that some behavior has negative health consequences, but the question then becomes how to convince the public to actually engage in that behavior less. We know, for example, that consuming too much unhealthy food and alcohol causes health problems, but that knowledge itself hasn’t put an end to health conditions caused by…

Read More

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…

Read More

In March, as public health officials around the world were dialing up measures against COVID-19’s spread, a group of researchers published an article in The Lancet highlighting the potential psychological consequences of widespread quarantine. When that article came out, most of the available evidence was from past epidemics. The authors pointed out that little was…

Read More