One of the counterintuitive ideas in psychology that has become popular lately is that our body language isn’t just an expression of our attitudes but can actually change those attitudes. A 2010 paper suggested, for example, that adopting more confident body language might really make one more confident. That idea then entered the mainstream through…

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It’s easy to dismiss traffic collisions as being the result of inattentive or reckless drivers. But a common and more troubling phenomenon is when a driver reports they were paying attention and scanned their surroundings, but still ended up turning in front of an oncoming vehicle. A recent study by psychologists in the UK investigated…

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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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You might think that an ideal worker is one who’s always thinking about their job, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. In fact, taking your work home with you at night, whether literally or inside your head, might be a recipe for burnout. Along these lines, a new study suggests that people who…

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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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That’s a bleak choice, and it’s exactly the choice researchers in Germany and the Netherlands gave people in a recent study on the psychology of job replacement. OK, the researchers didn’t actually remove people from their jobs for the sake of science. That would be taking it a little far. But they did ask people…

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Given the option to retire, people will make different decisions about how long to keep working. In order to learn more about how people make retirement decisions, a recent study decided to focus on those who are most eager to close out their careers: adults over 50 who intend to retire before reaching the official…

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Whether violent video games go hand-in-hand with violence in real life seems like exactly the kind of question we should send over to the psychology researchers. And psychology researchers do have an answer. Actually, they have several different answers that contradict each other. First, I’ll give you the results of the most recent study published…

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How can parents help shy toddlers become more at ease in social situations? A new study suggests that a combination of warmth and gentle prompting to engage socially might be the answer. The study involved 55 toddlers between 21 and 24 months of age who were temperamentally disposed toward shy behavior. In the study, these…

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We typically think of it as a bad thing to “fall asleep on the job.” But when your job is learning, a midday nap might be just what the psychologist ordered. A new study of 3,819 elementary school children in China suggests that lunchtime naps are associated with better performance in school. As it turns…

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