my flowering Christmas cactus just told me winter is near.
Wow. My old friend JC—walking, talking proof of the link between nostalgia and optimism—taught me this a long time ago and now scientific research supports it!
New research from the University of Southampton shows that feeling nostalgic about the past will increase optimism about the future.
The research, published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, examined the idea that nostalgia is not simply a past-orientated emotion but its scope extends into the future, with a positive outlook.
"Nostalgia raises self-esteem which in turn heightens optimism. Our findings have shown that nostalgia does have the capacity to facilitate perceptions of a more positive future. Memories of the past can help to maintain current feelings of self-worth and can contribute to a brighter outlook on the future. Our findings do imply that nostalgia, by promoting optimism, could help individuals cope with psychological adversity."
-Dr Tim Wildschut, lead researcher
The psychology of language always gives people away and this is especially true in the case of those who take ownership of their illnesses…’my diabetes’, ‘my IBS’, ‘my mental illness’, and so on reveal that one has become defined by their affliction rather than being a person who has illness or condition X. The problem with taking ownership of an illness in this way is that one’s personal identity, life goals, interests and activities also eventually become adversely affected by the condition. Rather than evolving into a vibrant, unique individual who embraces life’s challenges and opportunities to the fullest despite their mental or physical health conditions, the illness owner becomes limited, constrained, and defined by it. “I am a diabetic” puts one in a very different orbit from, “I have diabetes”.
polymathicv: Never own a disease. Your mind creates your reality
Social Psychology & Food…Your Friends Influence Your Food Choices—New Research
If you want to eat healthier when dining out, research recommends surrounding yourself with friends who make healthy food choices. A University of Illinois study showed that when groups of people eat together at a restaurant at which they must state their food choice aloud, they tend to select items from the same menu categories…
"My conclusion from the research is that people want to be different, but not that different," said University of Illinois food economist Dr. Brenna Ellison. "We want to fit in with the people we’re dining with. It goes against the expectation that people will exhibit variety-seeking behavior; we don’t want to be that different from others."
Receipt data was analyzed using a random utility framework, where the utility, or happiness, each individual receives from his or her food choice depends not only on the characteristics of that choice (such as item price, calories, etc.), but also on the characteristics of the choices of one’s peers.
"The big takeaway from this research is that people were happier if they were making similar choices to those sitting around them. If my peers are ordering higher-calorie items or spending more money, then I am also happier, or at least less unhappy, if I order higher-calorie foods and spend more money.
"The most interesting thing we found was that no matter how someone felt about the category originally, even if it was initially a source of unhappiness, such as the items in the salad category, this unhappiness was offset when others had ordered within the same category. Given this finding, we thought it would almost be better to nudge people toward healthier friends than healthier foods."
-Dr. Brenna Ellison
Source: “I’ll Have What He’s Having”: Group Ordering Behavior in Food Choice Decisions” Presented at the Agricultural and Applied Economic Association’s 2013 annual meeting, Washington, D.C.
Here are 10 classic psychological studies that may change the way you understand yourself.
#1: We all have some capacity for evil.
#2: We don’t notice what’s right in front of us.
#3: Delaying gratification is hard — but we’re more successful when we do.
#4: We can experience deeply conflicting moral impulses.
#8: We only need one thing to be happy.
Read more: 10 Psychological Studies That Will Change What You Think You Know About Yourself
Mutation is rarely a phenomenon that inspires admiration or high valuation, but in plants, the boundaries are a little more vague. Fasciation occurs when a plant—mutated by one of many possible factors (bacteria, viruses, insect attacks, simple genetic variation, etc.)—loses the plot a bit.
By that, I mean that the meristem stops directing the plant to grow new tissue around cylindrical points and instead shoots off in odd ribbons of tissue. And while this “ailment” isn’t quite as broadly prized as other botanical afflictions, such as striped tulips, there’s a definite horticultural element out there on the hunt for beautiful oddities.
That cactus up top is giving a thumbs up, so I suppose it’s all in good fun. —MN
MLK’s historic speech represented a high point in US history—and intensified J. Edgar Hoover’s ugly covert crusade against the civil rights leader.
Scientists have odious manners, except when you prop up their theory; then you can borrow money of them.
Kobi was born in 1972 in eastern Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo (see map).
Readers of National Geographic magazine were first introduced to the young chimpanzee in a May 1985 “On Assignment” piece. Award-winning author and photographer Robert Caputo recounted how he and a group of friends found baby Kobi for sale along the side of the road in Africa. Poachers had killed his mother but sold him as a pet because he was too small to eat.
"He was about a month old, and he would just cling to you. If we didn’t buy him, he would die," Caputo told National Geographic. “We fed him milk from a wine bottle and named him Kobi.”
"We traded him for an army blanket, two plastic eating bowls, and a pack of cigarettes," said Caputo’s traveling companion, Sidney Morris.
"Kobi was an absolute delight, with a great personality," Caputo recalled of their weeks traveling with Kobi. "He would often sit on my head when I was walking around a village, very curious about the world.
Life at Gombe Stream
After he arrived in Tanzania, Robert Caputo went on to shoot wildlife documentaries with Goodall’s then-husband, Hugo van Lawick. Sidney Morris went on to Zambia, and their other fellow traveler, Jill Hartman, was hired by Goodall to take care of baby Kobi.
Kobi remained at Gombe Stream Game Reserve for several months. Goodall introduced Kobi to “celebrity chimps” Flo, Flint, and Fifi. He spent many of his days on fishing expeditions and in playpens with Goodall’s own son, Hugo Eric Louis, known as Grub. The lingering question remained, however: what to do with Kobi in the long term?
In August 1972, Goodall wrote, “Poor little Kobi, I’m still half hoping he may join this group in the Gambia and then when he is older, be released with them,” speaking of her friend Stella Marsden's plans for a groundbreaking chimpanzee rehabilitation program. But the program had not yet met with success.
"She took Kobi to Gombe in hopes of being able to reintroduce him into the wild," Caputo said of Goodall. "But because he is male and a stranger, the other chimps probably would have killed him. There was no place in Africa for orphaned chimps at the time, so Jane arranged for him to go to Tempe, Arizona."
Life on the Reservation
Paul Fritz was a chimpanzee trainer at the Phoenix Zoo. In 1968 he and his wife Jo took in three unwanted chimpanzees. Word got out quickly, and the couple were soon the recipients of dozens of former pets, circus performers, and laboratory subjects.
For a short period, the chimps lived with them in their apartment, but the animals were soon moved to a chicken farm for more space. In 1970 the Fritzes formed the Primate Foundation of Arizona (PFA), which was perhaps the first official nonprofit chimpanzee sanctuary in the country.
Kobi arrived in late 1972 and lived in the farmhouse with Paul and Jo. Kobi wore shirts, drank soft drinks, and slept on a sofa. He was terrified of the other chimps and so couldn’t be caged with them.
"He has the same rules living in the house as a little child," Jo said then, "except he has more freedom."
In 1973 PFA moved into the 1914 ruins of a hydroelectric power plant on a reservation owned by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. The semi-underground facility outside Tempe, surrounded by rocky desert and saguaro cactus and overlooked by Red Mountain, was a unique place to house a growing colony of chimps.
Kobi’s life with the other chimps behind bars in the new colony was now markedly different. He was no longer treated like a human child, but was this the life of a chimpanzee?
Radioactive leftovers from Eisenhower-era bomb tests could help save the African elephant from extinction, thanks to a team of scientists.
The team led by a researcher now at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Rockland has developed a forensic technique that it says will cut down on elephant poaching and the illegal ivory trade. The method determines a tusk’s age, revealing if it was acquired before or after a 1989 ban on trade in African elephant ivory.
The study was published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Why do certain ideas go viral while others never make it past a second set of eyes (or ears, or lips)? A new neuroscience study attempted to answer this question by finding out if our brains react differently to buzz-worthy ideas. The results suggest that we’re wired to pass along certain ideas from the moment we see or hear them – even before we realize that we will.