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Do We Actually Grow from Adversity?

In our culture, there’s this idea that enduring a tragedy can be good for your personal growth. You’ll have a newfound appreciation for life. You’ll be grateful for your friends and family. You’ll learn from the experience. You’ll become more resilient. This theme appears in media coverage, time and again, in the wake of natural...

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Planning to Avoid Temptations Helps in Goal Pursuit

People who make plans to avoid or handle temptations may be more likely to achieve goals, such as academic and weight loss goals, according to new research by University of Wyoming psychologists. Proactively planning to manage temptations may be more effective than simply responding to temptation when it arises, say UW Associate Professor Ben Wilkowski...

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Cynical Social Media Voices Can Erode Trust in News Media

Amid rising concerns about low public trust in mainstream media institutions, a Rutgers study found that real-life and online social interactions can strongly influence a person’s trust in newspaper, TV and online journalism – but when it comes to online interactions, cynical views are the most influential. The study, published in the Journal of Communication, surveyed...

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True Lies: How Letter Patterns Color Perceptions of Truth

People today constantly encounter claims such as “Advil kills pain,” “coffee prevents depression,” or “Hilary promises amnesty” as brands, news outlets and social media sites vie for our attention–yet few people take the time to investigate whether these statements are true. Researchers have now uncovered one of the subtle psychological variables that influences whether people...

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Why Bill Maher Is Wrong About Fat-Shaming

On a recent episode of his Friday evening talk show, Bill Maher proposed that society combat obesity by body-shaming overweight individuals. He argued that “fat shaming doesn’t need to end, it needs to make a comeback” to deter people from overeating. Obesity is a national epidemic that is placing a significant burden on our health...

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The Problem of Living Inside Echo Chambers

Pick any of the big topics of the day – Brexit, climate change or Trump’s immigration policies – and wander online. What one is likely to find is radical polarization – different groups of people living in different worlds, populated with utterly different facts. Many people want to blame the “social media bubble” – a...