Posts Tagged: psychology

You Are What You Read

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You know when psychology and reading enthusiasts join forces and deliver good news about the merits of leading a literary life?

This is one of those moments! In a recent study, some researchers at the University of Buffalo found that reading fiction is positively correlated with empathy, using the official Twilight/Harry Potter Narrative Collective Assimilation Scale, which quantified how much undergrads internalized these narratives.

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“Decision Fatigue”

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The exhaustion of decision-making is now scientifically validated.

This essay looks at how decision fatigue, or “ego depletion,” manifests, in examining settings such as the courtroom, the grocery store, and even Ceasar’s decision to march on Rome. Decision fatigue can significantly weaken will-power, lower glucose levels, making people being less likely to compromise and more likely to choose the “default option.”

“The more choices you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain, and eventually it looks for shortcuts, usually in either of two very different ways.

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A Scientific Pronoun Revelation

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“Men and women use language differently because they negotiate their worlds differently. Across dozens and dozens of studies, women tend to talk more about other human beings. Men, on the other hand, are more interested in concrete objects and things.”

An article in Scientific American is towing the line between linguistics and psychology, deconstructing the differences in how we use language.

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The Surreal Makes You Smarter

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Allison Flood at the Guardian has dug up an article from  the journal Psychological Science showing that reading surrealism may actually make people smarter.

In the study, some subjects were given Kafka’s “A Country Doctor,” and others were given a rewrite of that story that “made more sense.” Those who read Kafka did better in the test researchers gave afterwards, a test that asked people to find patterns in strings of letters.

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