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Exercising Helps Us Bounce Back From Stress

Image of group of men and women exercising using weighted balls

We all know, or have at least heard the rumors, that exercise is good for us. There’s this intuition that says when we get moving we’ll feel mentally or emotionally stronger, quicker, and better. Research shows that regular exercisers do tend to report less depressed and anxious mood. Moreover, there are encouraging clinical trials showing that when people who have mood and anxiety disorders engage in exercise programs, they tend to have better mental health outcomes. But why?

Does Human Nature Include an Emotion Signaling System?

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By James A. Russell

Humans everywhere easily read each other’s emotions from their faces – facial expressions of basic emotions are universally recognized -- or so we are told in our textbooks.  A new series of studies raises doubts about this claim.

How Much Does China Smile?

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By Thomas Talhelm

Several years ago, I was traveling in Thailand. They call it “the land of smiles,” and that sure seemed true to me. I remember seeing a passenger on the back of a motorbike make eye contact with me and smile. I smiled back.

Two days later, I landed in Kunming, southwestern China. Thailand had gotten me into the habit of smiling at people, so as I walked in a local market, I smiled at anyone who made eye contact with me. What happened in response is what I’d call confusion, mild negativity, and sometimes a furrowed brow.

Psychology News Round-Up (October 21st)

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This week on the blog, Anup Gamba discusses why political ideology undermines logical reasoning. Our C&C Posts Not To Miss section includes the answer to the question, is the internet making you mean, explores what we talk about when we talk about morality, and has a timely throwback to judging political hearts and minds.                   

The Bittersweet Taste of Revenge

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By Fade R. Eadeh, Stephanie A. Peak, & Alan J. Lambert

From the biblical mention of an “eye for an eye” to Inigo Montoya’s desire to avenge his father in The Princess Bride, the act of revenge has captured the interest of humans for quite some time. Given the longstanding history of this topic, one might reason that scientific research has arrived at a consensus on the emotional consequences of revenge. Yet, the emotional ramifications from revenge are fairly complex and are often times contradictory.

Thinking and Feeling In Judging Others

By Alexander Danvers

You’re interviewing a stranger for a job, and while you have “the facts” about their previous job history in front of you, what you’re not sure about is their emotional state. Are they anxious? Excited? Bored?

Agreeable Personalities are More Likely to Help Strangers

Prosocial behaviors, such as willingness to help others, may be linked to specific personalities.  Based on new research published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, agreeableness is one of the better predictors of prosocial behavior.