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You’re Not Alone in Feeling Alone

Believing you have fewer friends than your peers can contribute to unhappiness

Feel like everyone else has more friends than you do? You’re not alone— but merely believing this is true could affect your happiness.

A new study from the University of British Columbia, Harvard Business School and Harvard Medical School has found that new university students consistently think their peers have more friends and spend more time socializing than they do. 

Looking for Similarities Can Bring Marginalized Groups Together

Image of the American flag

When African-American NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem in August 2016, he said it was in protest of “a country that oppresses Black people and people of color.” Soon after, National Women’s Soccer League player Megan Rapinoe became the first non-Black professional athlete to also kneel during the national anthem in solidarity with Kaepernick. She explained her support by highlighting commonalities between her own experiences as a gay woman and the experiences of racial minorities.

So Many in the West are Depressed Because They’re Expected Not to Be

Image of young woman laying on the floor using her laptop

Depression is listed as the leading cause of disability worldwide, a standing to which it has progressed steadily over the past 20 years. Yet research shows a rather interesting pattern: depression is far more prevalent in Western cultures, such as the US, Canada, France, Germany and New Zealand, than in Eastern cultures, such as Taiwan, Korea, Japan and China.

Rejection, Volunteering, & Morality: Recently Published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

Washington, D.C. – From rejection to volunteering and innocence, the following research recently published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Media may contact press @ spsp.org for a copy of any of these studies.

Highlights from the SPSP-Funded University of California Well-Being Conference

Image of attendees of University of California Well-Being Conference 2017

The first ever University of California Well-Being Conference (UCWBC), sponsored in part by a SPSP Small Conference Grant, provided a unique opportunity for researchers across the University of California (UC) system to connect and share their latest findings and insights on the science of well-being. Held at UC Riverside from March 3–5, 2017, and co-hosted by Dr. Ye Li at the UC Riverside School of Business, the conference brought together approximately 70 faculty members, post-doctoral scholars, and graduate students from the Riverside, Irvine, Berkeley, LA, and Davis campuses.

Religious Affiliation Impacts Language Use on Facebook

Washington, D.C. - Are you more likely to use words like “happy” and “family” in your social media posts? Or do you use emotional and cognitive words like “angry” and “thinking?” The words you use may be a clue to your religious affiliation. A study of 12,815 U.S. and U.K. Facebook users finds use of positive emotion and social words is associated with religious affiliation whereas use of negative emotion and cognitive processes is more common for those who are not religious than those who are religious.

Beyond the Bystander Effect

Image of hybrid car plugged into a mobile charging station

Imagine a rural Texan who commutes in an F-150 truck to a distant job in the oil industry. Given the cost of gas, he is considering trading in his truck for a vehicle with better mileage. Take a guess: will he choose a Prius® hybrid? It's an economically rational choice. However, the Prius® is less popular in rural Texas than hybrids that look like normal cars (Sexton & Sexton, 2011).

Exercising Helps Us Bounce Back From Stress

Image of group of men and women exercising using weighted balls

We all know, or have at least heard the rumors, that exercise is good for us. There’s this intuition that says when we get moving we’ll feel mentally or emotionally stronger, quicker, and better. Research shows that regular exercisers do tend to report less depressed and anxious mood. Moreover, there are encouraging clinical trials showing that when people who have mood and anxiety disorders engage in exercise programs, they tend to have better mental health outcomes. But why?

Supportive Relationships Linked to Willingness to Pursue Opportunities

Research on how our social lives affects decision-making has usually focused on negative factors like stress and adversity. Less attention, however, has been paid to the reverse: What makes people more likely to give themselves the chance to succeed? 

Psychologists Go to War

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One hundred years ago, on April 6, 1917, the United States entered World War I by declaring war on Germany. When American psychologists heard the news, they dispatched Robert M. Yerkes, then president of the American Psychological Association, to Canada to confer with Carl C.

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