Danni Guest Blogs: In the mood for success…

This Guest Blog Post is from Danni Ji, one of Dr. T’s Health Psychology students:


This recent study found that good moods help older adults to improve their decision making and working memory. Subjects were either given candy and thank you card or no reward before testing, to boost their moods. They then attempted to learn the values of a deck of a card in order to get more profit/gains than losses. Those given the reward before the task performed significantly better than those who didn’t receive the reward. These findings offer some valuable insight into social and environmental factors that can influence cognitive performance.

Asher Guest Blogs: Warming up the “cold shoulder”

This Guest Blog Post is from Asher King Abramson, one of Dr. T’s Health Psychology students:
Who knew the metaphor was true? According to this social interaction research from the Netherlands, when people feel lonely or excluded, the physical temperature of their skin actually drops! One reason for this is a protective immune response called vasoconstriction, in which blood vessels at the periphery of your body (think fingers and toes) narrow to conserve core body heat. It’s not just physiological, either: If someone is feeling lonely, they’ll also perceive the room to feel colder than it actually is.
So how can you fix this? Hold something warm. People who felt lonely and then held warm objects (like a cup of coffee) felt more welcomed and less excluded. Even more interesting is that people actually behave more socially after touching something warm.

Ken Guest Blogs: Work yourself into a heart attack

This Guest Blog Post is from Ken Huang, one of Dr. T’s Health Psychology students:

This NPR article discusses some striking long-term implications from stress. Researchers looked at data from 200,000 participants from 13 different studies over an average of 7.5 years and found that those who reported having a stressful job had a 23% higher heart attack than those who reported not having a stressful job. The key factors were that the people with stressful jobs felt that they had little control over their jobs and were under heavy work expectations. Even though this study was primarily observational, these findings still provide plenty of food for thought about the possible dangers of chronic stress.

Reed Guest Blogs: Why Oscar winners live longer

This Guest Blog Post is from Reed Vierra, one of Dr. T’s Health Psychology students:

In this podcast, they cover three different research projects which detail the interesting phenomena of why people who win Nobel prizes, Oscars, and get inducted into the Hall of Fame tend to outlive their peers by a significant length of time. They specifically detail the correlation between longevity and social status. It’s interesting to note that income is not the main factor in the differences! It’s believed that the difference in longevity is from the reduction in stress in future years after being commemorated since they no longer face the same level of stress in trying to impress their peers and critics.