Your Mind Is a Frequent, but Not Happy, Wanderer!

A recent Harvard study used an iPhone web app to gather 250,000 data points

People spend 46.9 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing, and this mind-wandering typically makes them unhappy. So says a study that used an iPhone web app to gather 250,000 data points on subjects’ thoughts, feelings, and actions as they went about their lives.

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Alpha Males Take Greater Risks

Study links finger lengths to behavior! Maybe it does matter if he has big hands!

Potential investors might wish to examine the fingers of their financial advisor prior to signing over any savings. A new study from Concordia University has found the length between the second and fourth finger is an indicator of high levels of prenatal testosterone, risk-taking and potential financial success in men.

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Great Apes Know They Could Be Wrong, Research Suggests

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In a series of three experiments, seven gorillas, eight chimpanzees, four bonobos and seven orangutans, from the Wolfgang Köhler Research Center at the Leipzig Zoo in Germany, were presented with two hollow tubes, one baited with a food reward, the other not. The apes were then observed as they tried to find the reward.

Great apes — orangutans, chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas — realize that they can be wrong when making choices, according to Dr. Josep Call from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Dr. Call’s study was just published online in Springer’s journal, Animal Cognition.

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Psychopaths’ Brains Wired to Seek Rewards, No Matter the Consequences

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Abnormalities in how the nucleus accumbens, highlighted here, processes dopamine have been found in individuals with psychopathic traits and may be linked to violent, criminal behavior.

The brains of psychopaths appear to be wired to keep seeking a reward at any cost, new research from Vanderbilt University finds. The research uncovers the role of the brain’s reward system in psychopathy and opens a new area of study for understanding what drives these individuals.

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Brain Location for Fear of Losing Money Pinpointed — The Amygdala

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Two patients with rare lesions to the brain have provided direct of evidence of how we make decisions — and what makes us dislike the thought of losing money.

Two patients with rare lesions to the brain have provided direct of evidence of how we make decisions — and what makes us dislike the thought of losing money.

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Clean Smells Promote Moral Behavior, Study Suggests

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BYU business prof Katie Liljenquist led a study that found that clean scents lead to more ethical behavior.

People are unconsciously fairer and more generous when they are in clean-smelling environments, according to a soon-to-be published study led by a Brigham Young University professor. Continue reading… “Clean Smells Promote Moral Behavior, Study Suggests”

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Chimpanzees Help Each Other On Request But Not Voluntarily

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Tool transfer upon recipient’s request.

The evolution of altruism has long puzzled researchers and has mainly been explained previously from ultimate perspectives—”I will help you now because I expect there to be some long-term benefit to me”. However, a new study by researchers at the Primate Research Institute (PRI) and the Wildlife Research Center (WRC) of Kyoto University shows that chimpanzees altruistically help conspecifics, even in the absence of direct personal gain or immediate reciprocation, although the chimpanzees were much more likely to help each other upon request than voluntarily.

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Protection Or Peril? Gun Possession Of Questionable Value In An Assault, Study Finds

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A new study estimates that people with a gun are 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not possessing a gun.

In a first-of its-kind study, epidemiologists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that, on average, guns did not protect those who possessed them from being shot in an assault. The study estimated that people with a gun were 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not possessing a gun.

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Did The Great Depression Have A Silver Lining? Life Expectancy Increased By 6.2 Years

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Buried machinery in barn lot in Dallas, South Dakota, during the Dust Bowl, an agricultural, ecological, and economic disaster in the Great Plains region of North America in 1936.

The Great Depression had a silver lining: During that hard time, U.S. life expectancy actually increased by 6.2 years, according to a University of Michigan study published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Ants More Rational Than Humans?

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Ants are more rational collective decision makers than humans.

In a study released online on July 22 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences, researchers at Arizona State University and Princeton University show that ants can accomplish a task more rationally than our – multimodal, egg-headed, tool-using, bipedal, opposing-thumbed – selves. Continue reading… “Ants More Rational Than Humans?”

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