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Posts Tagged "happiness"

Beautiful Minds

In Defense of Working Memory Training

iStock_000016198123Small

One minute we’re being told that brain training makes you smarter, and the next minute we’re told it’s all bogus. Confused? I don’t blame you. The research literature on brain training is confusing and even sometimes contradictory. This is the way of science. I believe, however, that there is hope in making sense of things if the field and the [...]

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Dog Spies

Happiness The Dog Way

wendy74ca Paws on the Run

Wishing you all happiness, smiles and gratitude. May your day be filled with a good dose of your version of this: Thank you for joining me in the land of canine science! Julie ——- Photo: Copyright Paws on the Run Photography. Used with Permission.

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Guest Blog

What makes us happy? Alexis de Tocqueville vs. Kanye West

I’m a big Kanye West fan. He is an immensely talented individual who has sold more albums and gathered more acclaim than most musicians have in several life times. His widespread artistic reverence is well deserved too; as a producer, lyricist, and performer he is one of the best. Yet, the most intriguing part of [...]

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Illusion Chasers

Neuroscience in fiction: “Of a Sweet Slow Dance in the Wake of Temporary Dogs”, by Adam-Troy Castro

Image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Eclipse#mediaviewer/File:Eclipse667.jpg

The people of Enysbourg lead merry, fulfilled, blissful lives – nine days out of every ten. On each Tenth Day, the country is ablaze with destruction. Cities are razed, children massacred, every single citizen and visitor to the country experiences unimaginable pain and suffering. But the Day After, peace is restored. All wounds, physical and psychological, are healed. Buildings and roads show no fractures. Families become whole again. Lovers reunite. Memories of the devastation remain, but they do not have the power to do harm.

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Observations

What Will Make Facebook’s Eduardo Saverin Happier: U.S. Citizenship or $67 Million?

A big stack of $100 bills

Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin has renounced his U.S. citizenship, reportedly to save an estimated $67 million on his tax bill (Saverin denies that the decision was based on financial considerations). The move has drawn the ire of Senators, academics and (especially) newspaper columnists, who view it as a cynical attempt to avoid paying his fair [...]

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Observations

Being Happy: Social and Natural Factors Are More Important Than Money (Especially in Costa Rica)

It’s easy to find an online test that will purportedly tell you how happy you are. But how happy are the people of an entire nation? And which nation’s people are happiest? That’s hard to measure. So for decades world organizations like the United Nations that concern themselves with improving people’s well-being have used a [...]

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Observations

The Perils and Pleasures of Online Gaming for Married Life

If someone asked you to sketch a portrait of a gamer who spends countless hours each week inhabiting an avatar—say, an elf or a warlock—in a virtual fantasy world, what kind of person would you draw? A teenage boy whose pimply forehead hovers mere centimeters from the computer screen? Needless to say, such stereotypes are [...]

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Observations

Satisfaction with Job, Family and Sex Guard against Signs of Heart Disease

satisfied civil servant lower chance of heart disease symptoms

Depression and chronic stress can be serious strains on heart health. But can positive emotional states do more for the heart than keep people at an average risk for signs of coronary heart disease? Contentment is a continuum—just because someone isn’t suffering from anxiety doesn’t mean that they are terribly optimistic or feel fulfilled. So [...]

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Observations

It’s getting better all the time: Happiness, well-being increase after 50

happiness wellbeing increase after 50 decrease stress worry anger

Despite weighty concerns such as aging, planning for retirement or caring for older friends and family, people in the U.S. seem to get happier with age. A new study reports that these changes are consistent regardless of whether individuals were employed, had young children at home or lived with a partner. General well-being (characterized by [...]

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Observations

Happy or sad, emotions persisted beyond remembering an event in people with amnesia

emotion memory amnesia film alzheimer

How long does a sad movie leave you feeling blue? Remembering something sad can trigger emotions that persist long after the event itself has passed. But people with impaired memories seem to retain the emotion long after they have forgotten the emotionally charged event itself—longer, in fact, than people who can recall the incident well—according [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

The Power of Dad

Courtesy of Need2CPhotography via Flickr.

In the 1994 film Junior, a male scientist becomes pregnant and gives birth to a baby girl. It’s a rather ridiculous tale, but if any man could be given the superpower of giving birth, my dad should have been the one. I have never met anyone who loved kids and parenting more than my father [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Cultivate Your Character [Video]

The term “character” has numerous and widely varied meanings. It defines each of these letters and symbols I am typing. It can be used to refer to features of wines, and it captures fictional folks in movies in books. I often call funny or stand-out individuals “characters,” too. In psychology, however, “character” most often adheres [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Meeting Your Spouse Online May Lead to a Better Marriage

Courtesy of lyubenov.com via Wikimedia Commons.

I met my husband at a party in a bygone era. He had no online profile. Neither did I. We didn’t trade email addresses, as neither of us had one of those either. He seemed like a good guy–and a party was as good a venue as any for meeting a future spouse. He still [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Brain Benefits for the Holidays? Stuff the Stocking with Video Games

happy face superimposed over man

Happy holidays! As the year draws to a close, one thing I’m celebrating is the fun I’ve had helping put together the magazine I edit, Scientific American Mind. I am looking forward to working on new articles and projects in 2013. (We have some surprises in store.) I’m pleased about my growing and attentive audience [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Social and Emotional Learning Empowers Children

Editor’s note: The below is a response to a critique of MindUP, a social and emotional learning program pioneered by actor Goldie Hawn. I have covered this program in other blogs (see list below) and in a feature in Scientific American Mind (visit “Schools Add Workouts for Attention, Grit and Emotional Control”). I hope this [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

How Social and Emotional Learning Could Harm Our Kids

Editor’s note: The following is a critique of a social and emotional learning program called MindUP that I have covered in other blogs (see list below) and in a feature in Scientific American Mind (visit “Schools Add Workouts for Attention, Grit and Emotional Control”).  Please also read a response to this critique, posted separately, from [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Want to Change Your Life? This Movie Might Inspire You

People V. The State of Illusion, a new docudrama from Samuel Goldwyn Films, is a mixture of fiction and brain science that, despite these awkward bedfellows, was compelling enough to keep me up late on a Friday night. Although most of the well-worn findings parroted by the movie’s parade of experts were not new to [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Success in 7 Short Steps

girl writing in journal

People who succeed in their jobs and in life are typically blessed with a special blend of four qualities: efficacy (self-confidence), resilience, hope and optimism. This mental confection, which scientists call psychological capital, reflects our capacity to overcome obstacles and push ourselves to pursue our ambitions. Not surprisingly, having lots of it is linked to [...]

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Talking back

New Job for Brain Scientists: Pitching Mutual Funds

I was watching one of the March Madness games recently with my son Benjamin. He is the only one in the world I can do this with because I can ask him what the difference is between the shot clock in the NBA and the one in the NCAA without being asked to immediately produce [...]

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