This article explores the unique nature of friendships and the science behind them. It discusses how friendships formed during adolescence are particularly special due to changes in the brain’s reward center and improvements in Theory of Mind. It also highlights the concept of interpersonal synchrony and how it contributes to the deep connections we form with our closest friends.
A study conducted by the universities of Michigan, Utah, and Zurich, involving over 17,000 front-desk workers worldwide, aimed to understand what drives honesty. The study found that people were more likely to report lost wallets when they contained money, rather than when they were empty, suggesting that self-interest may not be as powerful as previously thought and that individuals’ desire to maintain a positive self-image and be seen as honest can motivate them to act honestly.
Scientists believe that daydreaming serves a purpose and is not a waste of time, as we spend between a third and half of our waking hours daydreaming. Daydreaming activates different brain areas, known as the default mode network, which is associated with rest, memory recall, future planning, and creative thinking. The interplay between the default mode network and the executive network, responsible for logical thinking, is crucial for creative thinking and problem-solving.
The article discusses the Victorian tapeworm diet and its similarities to modern fad diets that promise rapid weight loss. It compares the approaches of two hypothetical twins, one aiming for slow weight loss through a gradual reduction in calorie intake and increased exercise, and the other opting for drastic calorie restriction. The article highlights the negative impacts of extreme diets and emphasizes the importance of adopting a sustainable and healthy lifestyle instead.
The article discusses the psychology behind forbidden desires, focusing on reactance theory and the social network effect. Reactance theory explains our urge to do the exact thing we’ve been warned against when our freedom is threatened, while the social network effect suggests that the long-term success of romantic relationships is influenced by the approval or disapproval of friends and family. The article concludes by highlighting the importance of understanding the balance between the need for independence and the need for social approval in human behavior.
The article discusses the concept of intelligence and the idea of being “smart” at different ages. It explains that different skills and abilities develop at different stages of life, and there is no single age that can be considered the smartest. The author concludes that having an age-diverse team is a good strategy for the Brain Clash competition.
Sleepwalking is a common phenomenon that occurs during the deepest stage of non-REM sleep. Sleepwalkers are able to perform basic tasks and can sometimes engage in more complex activities like cooking or driving. The exact causes of sleepwalking are not fully understood, but factors such as stress, sleep disorders, and sedatives can increase the likelihood. Treatment options include promoting healthy sleep habits, implementing safety measures, and considering medication if necessary. If encountering a sleepwalker, it is best to gently guide them back to bed and ensure their safety until the episode resolves.
The article discusses a feud between two brothers in a German town that divided the entire community. The article then explores the minimal group paradigm, a psychological experiment that shows how even arbitrary group distinctions can lead to in-group bias and conflict. The findings suggest that people use group membership to form their sense of identity, which can lead to favoritism towards their own group. The article concludes by emphasizing the importance of inclusivity in order to overcome these biases.
Good listening is crucial for improving relationships, developing a broader perspective, and potentially changing people’s minds. It involves showing attentiveness, conveying understanding, and demonstrating a positive intention towards the speaker. Practicing good listening involves removing distractions, avoiding interruptions, asking open-ended questions, showing understanding through summarizing, staying present, embracing silence, and listening even when it’s difficult. Good listening does not necessarily mean agreeing with the speaker, but it creates a non-judgmental and psychologically safe environment for open-mindedness and deeper conversations.
The brain plays a crucial role in the experience of love, from the infatuation stage to the attachment stage. During infatuation, there is increased activation in the reward-processing and motivation hub of the brain, while during attachment, hormones like oxytocin and vasopressin promote feelings of trust and attachment. Heartbreak activates regions of the brain associated with pain and distress, but with time and support, individuals can heal and learn from the experience.