Were the Neanderthals smarter than we are?

Neanderthals had larger brains than modern humans do, and a new study of a Neanderthal child’s skeleton now suggests this is because their brains spent more time growing. Modern humans are known for having unusually large brains for their size. It takes a lot of energy to develop such large brains, and previous research suggested that the high cost of modern-human brain development was a key reason why human growth, in general, is slow compared with that of other primates.… [read more]

Motivation may be less limited than we think.

Although we tire at specific tasks a study has found that the motivation to work may be stable throughout the day.

After a long day of work and carefully watching what you eat, you might expect your self-control to slip a little by kicking back and cracking open a bag of potato chips.… [read more]

You can ‘pick up’ a good or bad mood from your friends.

Fortunately, depression doesn’t have the same effect. The new research suggests that both good and bad moods can be ‘picked up’ from friends, but depression can’t.

What the researchers say: The team analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health which incorporates the moods and friendship networks in the US.… [read more]

Upward mobility between generations ain’t what we thought.

As political rhetoric containing promises of education, social opportunities and other development for disadvantaged people continues to fill the airwaves, economics researchers have developed state-of-the-art statistical methods that uncover the impact of different aspects of upward mobility (or lack thereof), aside from parental income.… [read more]

Link between positive emotions and health depends on culture.

This is a very interesting piece of research which may well change the way we look at a large number of issues regarding culture.

What the researchers say: Positive emotions are often seen as critical aspects of healthy living, but new research suggests that the link between emotion and health outcomes may vary by cultural context.… [read more]

Scientists find secret to thriving.

Scientists find secret to thriving. Surprise, surprise according to new research published in European Psychologist, what it takes to thrive, rather than merely survive, is probably as simple as feeling good about life and yourself and being good at something. .… [read more]

Listening to happy music may enhance divergent creativity.

Listening to happy music may help generate more, innovative, solutions compared to listening to silence, according to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE

Creativity is an important quality in our complex, fast-changing world, as it allows us to generate innovative solutions for a wide range of problems and come up with fresh ideas.… [read more]

Liar, liar, pants on fire! Groups lie more than individuals.

Liar, liar, pants on fire! Groups lie more than individuals. Researchers have found that something as simple as communication within groups, even if each group member has previously behaved honestly, can be the key to triggering collaborative, dishonest behavior. Prior honest behavior is no match for the potentially negative influences present in a group dynamic, especially when money is at stake, according to a new study, published in the journal Management Science.… [read more]

People become more economically conservative when angered.

The motorist tailgating you on the highway might be doing more than just getting you upset—they (usually he) could also be influencing your political views.

People tend to lean more economically conservative when they’re angry, according to a study recently published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.… [read more]