Gratitude: As Old as Animal Kind Gratitude may be an evolutionary component of human development, passed down for thousands of years according to sociologist Georg Simmel (Greater Good Magazine, n.d.). While we may think of it as something personal and internal, it is also considered an important social skill that helps humans interact with each…

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This article is part of the course THRIVE 103: Activating Strengths in Pursuit of Well-Being Jump to Course Well-Being and The PERMA Model Seligman (2011) argues that well-being is enhanced through thriving in one or more pillars of well-being. His model, often referred to as the PERMA Model, consists of Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning,…

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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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Repetitively turning over negative thoughts, or ruminating, is a behavior that has been explored as a target for therapy in conditions like depression. After all, it’s not hard to imagine that getting stuck in a cycle of replaying negative thoughts might harm mental health. So what’s the best way to stop ruminating on negative thoughts?…

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In a general sense, life looks the same for all of us: stuff happens to us. We learn from that stuff, sometimes. We get older. Ideally, we have a sense that there’s some progression to our lives. Learning from our past experiences helps us live our lives more effectively as we get older, and eventually…

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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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In 2018, a biology teacher from Cincinnati named Bryce Carlson decided to row across the North Atlantic. That feat is about as difficult as it sounds. Carlson faced no shortage of obstacles on his journey, from a capsized boat to $85,000 in debt. But ultimately, he became the first American to row across the Atlantic…

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Humor is a funny thing. Different people use it in different ways. I’ve touched on this topic in some previous blog posts. People with high self-esteem, for example, tend to use humor to build relationships with others. Undertakers, on the other hand, tend not to use it much at all. Now, a new study from…

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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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