News, Psychology

Study suggests bullies have high self-esteem, status and low rates of depression


Are bullies hard wired (genetically) to be abusive to their peers or are most bullies the product of their environment (abusive parents, emotional problems etc.)? This is already turning out to be an age old question among psychologists. A new study seems to lend credence to the idea that bullies behave the way they do because they really want it, and of course because of the rewards. The study published by Canadian researchers found that high school bullies had the highest self-esteem, status and lowest rates of depression.

News, Psychology

Strangers are better than you at picking the best photos of yourself

passport photo shoot

Even when people are genuinely trying to select a profile picture for a social network or to serve for an ID, they’re apparently a poor judge of their own looks. Strangers were found to select a picture that matches a person appearance better, according to a new research carried out by a team at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

News, Psychology

Sweeping hormones make stock brokers take riskier decisions

stressed brokers

It’s not just teenagers who let hormones get the best of them, stock brokers do it all the time, according to a new study. Only, in this case, the consequences might be far worse than a family meltdown: we’re talking about global markets crashes.

Mathematics, News, Psychology

Is there really a mathematical formula that predicts happy relationships?

Love equation

In a recent TED talk, Hannah Fry outlines a mathematical formula that predicts long-lasting relationships. In her recent book, The Mathematics of Love, she discusses the findings of psychologist John Gottman who studied hundreds of couples over many years to find out what sets apart the happy couples from the miserable. Gottman than enlisted the help of a mathematician who correlated all the data the psychologists gathered and came up with an empirical formula that seems to predict if a couple will be happy together.

Health & Medicine, News, Psychology

Blue eyes linked to higher levels of alcohol dependence

Image via Telegraph.

According to an unusual study conducted by University of Vermont researchers, people with blue eyes may be more likely to become alcoholics – and researchers are trying to figure out why. Human eye color is a pretty strange thing – it’s an inherited trait influenced by more than one gene. These genes cause  small changes in the genes themselves and in neighboring

News, Psychology

Intuitition endorses creationism, while analytical thinking fosters evolution

Drawing from Charles Darwin's notes which he used to elaborate his seminal work, "On The Origins of Species".

Despite a huge gap in public acceptance, the theory of evolution and natural selection is not a controversial theory. It is widely accepted by the scientific community and is, in fact, one of the most successful scientific idea in history. Yet, billions of people around the world discard evolution and uphold a creationist view of how humans, other creatures or the whole cosmos came to being. Ironically, it may be the way that our own brains evolved and supported the adaption of our species that supports a natural predisposition towards creationism. This idea is supported by a paper published in Cognition which found persons who rely more on intuition than analytical thinking are more likely to discard evolution and vice-versa.

News, Psychology

Is Facebook’s “Celebrate Pride” tool a lame psychological experiment?


A few days ago, the US supreme court ruled that same-sex marriage was hence forth legal in all states. To mark the occasion, Facebook released the “Celebrate Pride” tool which overlays a low-opacity rainbow over your profile pic. More than a million people changed their profile photos just a couple of hours after the feature was integrated into the Facebook. While its intentions might seem noble, Cesar Hidalgo – an MIT network scientists – doesn’t buy it. He says it’s all in fact a huge social experiment whose end game is to see how long it takes for you to change your profile pic to something else.


Assessing the psychological profile of politicians definitely sounds like a good idea

Tony Abbott is perhaps the worst PM Australia has seen in decades. Photo:

Speaking for The Age, the Chairman of the Australian Human Resources Institute, Peter Wilson, said that political candidates in Australia should have their psychological profiles assessed much in the same way top corporate executives are today. It definitely sounds like a good idea, but will this ever be a “thing”? In Australia at least, some parties seem to welcome the idea, but without institutional mandates to do so, I’m afraid we’ll still be seeing affairs run their typical course. But wouldn’t be great if psychopaths were barred from office?

News, Psychology

76% of American employees get the “Sunday blues”


The weekends should be devoted to disconnecting from your job and focusing more on leisure, family and personal development. A global study made by Munster paints a different picture (who’s surprised?). Seems like no less than 76% of American workers get the “Sunday blues”. In other words, they stress and fret during the depressing night that separates them from a new workweek. Of course, it may be natural to feel a bit stressed knowing you’re about to start a new busy work week, but It’s also worth noting that these 76% have “really bad” Sunday blues. That doesn’t sound normal. In fact, over the pond just 47% Europeans felt that way at the time.

News, Psychology

Listening to extreme music doesn’t make you angrier or violent. In fact, it’s the other way around

Heavy metal band Slayer playing live. Photo: Metal Underground

Anecdotal observations and even some studies claim that listening to extreme music like heavy metal, punk or hardcore causes anger and expressions of anger, like delinquency or violent behavior. Researchers in Australia, however, found that this isn’t the case. After closely following 39 extreme music listeners aged 18–34 years, the psychologists found that extreme music didn’t make the participants angrier – even after they were purposely made angry. Instead, when they tuned to their favorite extreme music, the participants exhibited a lower heart rate, which is associated with less angry response, showed an increase in positive emotions.