Seeing a smile is a reward in itself.

11 April 2013
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Many studies have shown that smiling is ‘contagious’ in both humans and monkeys, to the extent that when presented by a smiling face some test subjects not only naturally smiled, but found it difficult to form a frown. This empathic and automatic social response offers many social and health benefits. Smiling releases endorphins, which can in turn reduce stress, heart rate and blood pressure as well as giving us a feeling of well being. A recent study at the Wayne State University analysed the intensity of smiles of professional baseball players in a 1952 yearbook and compared their...

Nine ways to stay happily married

03 November 2012
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With divorce rates in the US heading for 40% researchers have identified 9 indicators for a successful union, from good humour and a healthy sex life to emotional separation from biological family. Read all nine here

Puppies maybe cute but are too young to empathise

28 October 2012
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A recent Swedish study into yawning responses in dogs found that whilst older dogs tended to yawn and become tired, contagiously, when handlers yawned, puppies under seven months had no such response. This indicates that  empathy in dogs does not develop until late in their 1st year. Children do not demonstrate the same response until around four years of age. Read more here

Parents overestimate their children’s happiness

26 October 2012
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  It has long been recognised that parents tend to exaggerate their children’s intellectual, social and sporting abilities but a recent study indicated that parents are also inclined to see their children as less anxious and more optimistic  than they really are. Kristin Lagattuta’s research indicates that adult’s interpretations of children’s happiness can not be trusted but hopes that it will lead parents to be better attuned to their children’s emotional difficulties. Read more here

Why some people leap in front of bullets?

23 August 2012
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Two researchers Selwyn Becker and Alice Eagly published in the journal American Psychologist in 2004, that the idea of heroism exists in virtually every human culture ever recorded — from cave paintings and folklore to the dawn of literature and right up to, say, “The Dark Knight Rises.” This might explain why heroism is part of human nature and explain our beahviour when faced with danger in a group situation. Read more… Or watch the video of two children heroes following an attack on their temple.

Children lack of self-control linked to extra weight

18 August 2012
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Children who had less patience and worse self-control while waiting for treats in a classic behavior study ended up weighing slightly more as adults, a new analysis shows. Does it mean emotional intelligence might be a factor in weight gaining? Read more…

The marshmallow experiment: testing emotional intelligence

27 June 2012
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A video introduction to the marshmallow experiment.   TED Talk: Joachim de Posada says, Don't eat the… par TED