To some extent, we have all conducted our own one-person real-life experiments with sleep deprivation. One thing I’ve noticed in my own such experiments is that if I’m going to have my sleep cut short, I’d rather do it by going to bed late than by waking up early. One especially late night by itself…

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“Dear diary, today I had cereal and orange juice for breakfast.” That kind of diary entry might make for fairly boring reading, but it’s exactly what the authors of a recent study on nutrition habits and school performance were interested in. In the study, 294 British teenagers kept food diaries for a week, reporting the…

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The more psychologists learn about awe, the more they’re coming to see it as an emotion that brings out some of the best of human behavior. Awe seems to drive scientific inquiry, with scientists being more prone to awe and non-scientists becoming more interested in science when they experience awe. Feelings of awe can also…

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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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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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You need a lot of things to start a business. A good idea, the skills to turn that idea into reality, and some cold, hard cash. Increasingly, psychologists who study entrepreneurship believe you need the right mindset too. They talk about having the “psychological capital” to succeed in a new venture. Psychological capital, or PsyCap…

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A lack of motivation can put to ruin the greatest plans – or the smallest ones for that matter. Getting the motivation to do something is a complex process that takes place in the brain, so there’s no simple formula for boosting your motivation when you need it. But as it turns out, using mental…

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