People with a sweet tooth are actually sweeter in nature

Researchers at Gettysburg College and Dakota State University have discovered something interesting: people who prefer sweet foods are more sharing and open to volunteering that those who don’t. What’s more, they found, giving people sweets increases people’s level of agreeableness and kindness, regardless of what food s they prefer.… [read more]

A few fatigued members won’t drag down a team

An important piece of research appeared in a recent edition of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. Researchers at London South Bank University studied the effectiveness of teams where a number of the members were tired from exhausting night-long work.… [read more]

Fear skews perception

Researchers at Emory University have demonstrated an interesting way in which fear skews our visual (or other sensory) perception. We imagine a dangerous snake is actually closer than it is or a car collision more imminent. This makes evolutionary sense because it gives us more forewarning and thus a greater chance at survival.… [read more]

Quality is in the mind

In research it’s well known that most people cannot tell the quality difference in wines just by taste but take their clues from other factors besides the product itself. Put the wine in an expensive bottle and people will say it’s really terrific, put the same quaff in a cheaper bottle and they’ll say the opposite.… [read more]

Obesity an increasing problem in the workplace

A number of articles in recent editions of the Journal of the American Medical Association have focused on the increasing problem of obesity and how modern work practices are contributing to the problem. These include sitting for long periods of time, commuting by car, at-desk lunches and so on (most of which I have posted research on previously).… [read more]

Half of all prescription drugs found to be useless

As a clinical psychologist, I have waged a constant war on many psychotropic drugs, from antidepressants (see my blog on http://creatingoptimism.com/dr-bobs-blog/) to the misuse of antipsychotics and most of the medications for schizophrenia. The majority of these drugs are little better than placebos, especially when prescribed for off-label use.… [read more]

Women prize-winners needed higher qualifications than men

The highest prize in journalism is, of course, the Pulitzer Prize. A researcher at the University of Missouri has discovered that, historically, female Pulitzer prize-winners had more qualifications than their male counterparts. Women had to have achieved more before their writing was taken as seriously as men’s.… [read more]

Self-Control—it ain’t what we thought it was

“Exercise some self-control!” You know, it’s what parents say to annoying 4 year-olds. It’s what bosses feel like saying to overspending execs. It’s what shareholders are saying to overpaid CEOs. And maybe the truth is that you can’t control self-control by an act of will.… [read more]

Virtual teams more productive than in-house ones.

Well-constructed virtual teams are more productive than in-house teams according to an article in the latest Ivey Business Journal. This is interesting, especially for professional service firms, where a key driver for them is retaining their best women who demand a more flexible and mostly home-based work life.… [read more]

Photographers picture men and women differently

A rather interesting study was published today which found that when photographers take pictures of men they usually concentrate on the face, whereas when they take images of women more of the body is in the shot. The more egalitarian the culture, the more the emphasis.… [read more]