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Analysis and Comment (16)

Dear diary. Dear diary. Loozrboy

Thinking about death can make you value life more

Go ahead and contemplate your own mortality. How does it feel? Would you be surprised to learn that it can potentially improve your mental health to think about your death more often? The Russian novelist…
Truly expressing yourself is more complex than you might think. Truly expressing yourself is more complex than you might think. donatopirolo/Flickr

Happily disgusted? It could show all over your face

Your face plays an important role in the experience and expression of emotion. Yet despite the complexity of the human face, which has 43 muscles in all, most of existing facial expression research focuses…
Do buildings really have the ability to uplift us? Do buildings really have the ability to uplift us? oimax

Build me up: how architecture can affect emotions

In our technological age, when so many of our social experiences are virtual, the role architecture can play in the experience of real-time situations is increasingly curious. How does architecture affect…
Friend or foe: what do you see? Friend or foe: what do you see? Kquedquest

Trauma makes us shun kindness when we need it most

It seems intuitive that many of us would fear and avoid emotions such as anger and anxiety. But some people fear positive emotions such as happiness and contentment, and of accepting the compassion, kindness…
Like humans, ‘man’s best friend’ can sense our emotions through voice alone. Like humans, ‘man’s best friend’ can sense our emotions through voice alone. Flickr/TheGiantVermin

Dogs hear human happiness – it’s in his (or her) master’s voice

Dogs really are our best friends. A study published today in Current Biology shows not only do dogs and humans read emotions in each other’s “voices”, but both are more attuned to “happy” sounds. And the…
How do three little punctuation marks convey emotion? How do three little punctuation marks convey emotion? Veronica Belmont

Smiley like you mean it: how emoticons get in your head

We may not spend a lot of time thinking about the emoticons we insert into our emails and text messages, but it turns out that they reveal something interesting about the way we perceive facial expressions…
I wouldn’t do that if I were you. I wouldn’t do that if I were you. Runs with Scissors

Disgust stops us from doing things we shouldn’t

If you read about the record-breaking “fatberg” lurking under Kingston recently and reacted the same way as me - “Oh my God - a gob of fat in the London sewers as big as a bus - that’s disgusting!” - you’ll…
When the rage starts to rise, don’t detonate – evaluate. When the rage starts to rise, don’t detonate – evaluate. Darwin Bell

Master your anger – or at least try to understand it

Misery is psychology’s stale bread and rancid butter. The field heaps attention on sadness, fear and anxiety, and their psychiatric cousins depression, phobia and neurosis. Anger receives much less scrutiny…
Stressful times for mum increase the risk of later problems for her baby. Stressful times for mum increase the risk of later problems for her baby. Flickr/Roberto Carlos Pecino

Effects of prenatal stress can affect children into adulthood

If we want to understand child development, we need to start before birth. We have known for decades that health depends on an interaction between our genes and our environment. But we’ve also come to…
Dark side of the moon: does it hold some power over us? Dark side of the moon: does it hold some power over us? PA/Anthony Devlin

We shouldn’t dismiss the moon’s power to influence

As a teenager I observed a strange phenomenon. On awakening from an unusually vivid dream, I would often find that the moon was full. And as the silvery light prevailed on subsequent nights, my nocturnal…
Much ado about something. Much ado about something. bberburb

Good grief, what’s with the crying game human beings?

There are many qualities that have been suggested that separate human beings from other living species. These include tool making, an ability to dream and especially the development of highly sophisticated…
The downward-V shape between a villain’s eyebrows may be terrifying by design. The downward-V shape between a villain’s eyebrows may be terrifying by design. Warner Brothers

V-shaped facial features are threatening? You must be joking

What do Cruella de Vil, The Joker and Maleficent have in common? Beyond an implacable desire for evil and their cartoonish existence, they have pointy chins and a marked V shape between their arching eyebrows…
Letting go of prolonged negative feelings is likely to improve happiness and well-being. Letting go of prolonged negative feelings is likely to improve happiness and well-being. Chapendra

Bitterness makes the heart grow sicker

Maxims like turn that frown upside down may annoy you when ill-timed but it seems they have some evidence-based science behind them. A growing body of research shows that your state of mind may have a…

Research Briefs (5)

Middle age is key to empathy

Women in their 50s are more empathetic than men and young adults, a new study has found. Overall adults in their late middle…

Fear makes things appear closer

Fear can alter our perception of distance, making the object of our fear appear closer than it is. Psychologists found that…