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Why Does Joe Biden Touch People So Much and Why Do We Care?

A man touches a woman's shoulder as she looks to side, like, dude?

Former Vice President Joe Biden has always been a physically affectionate man, but recently that touching has become controversial.  We turn to experts in social and personality psychology to help us understand what is going on.

Our experts suggested that at least seven different psychological processes may be at play:

1.  Touch signals caring and support: The role of the need to belong

Psychology News Roundup: ICYMI April 19, 2019

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From willpower to a new flurry of posts on our blog, check out what you might have missed this week. Recently in the news, written a post, or have selections you'd like us to consider? Email us, use the hashtag #SPSPblog, or tweet us directly @spspnews. 

Avoiding Angry Downward Spirals in Your Romantic Relationships

Two men give each other space, with man looking away.
Although you may think that getting angry at your partner will help to change his or her behavior, anger can start a cascading spiral of hostility that damages relationships.

Psychology News Roundup: ICYMI April 12, 2019

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This week's roundup includes pieces on pay gaps, gratefulness, and why couples seem to look alike. Read on for the latest in social and personality psychology news and research. Recently in the news, written a post, or have selections you'd like us to consider? Email us, use the hashtag #SPSPblog, or tweet us directly @spspnews. 

 

Psychology News Roundup: ICYMI March 1, 2019

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This week's roundup includes more discussion on relationships, a critique of research, and a few other gems. Recently in the news, written a post, or have selections you'd like us to consider? Email us, use the hashtag #SPSPblog, or tweet us directly @spspnews. 

Feeling Awe Can Cultivate Humility

Image of the Milky Way Galaxy over a beautiful landscape

In a world that increasingly feeds our selfish inclinations and fuels our proclivity for self-aggrandizement, a renewed interest in humility has emerged. Humility has traditionally been defined as an enduring trait and is a facet within well-established measures of personality (e.g., the HEXACO). There are many benefits to possessing this virtue: more prosociality, greater acceptance from others, and better relationships. Lacking humility often portends arrogance or narcissism.

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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?

Does Human Nature Include an Emotion Signaling System?

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By James A. Russell

Humans everywhere easily read each other’s emotions from their faces – facial expressions of basic emotions are universally recognized -- or so we are told in our textbooks.  A new series of studies raises doubts about this claim.

How Much Does China Smile?

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By Thomas Talhelm

Several years ago, I was traveling in Thailand. They call it “the land of smiles,” and that sure seemed true to me. I remember seeing a passenger on the back of a motorbike make eye contact with me and smile. I smiled back.

Two days later, I landed in Kunming, southwestern China. Thailand had gotten me into the habit of smiling at people, so as I walked in a local market, I smiled at anyone who made eye contact with me. What happened in response is what I’d call confusion, mild negativity, and sometimes a furrowed brow.

Psychology News Round-Up (October 21st)

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This week on the blog, Anup Gamba discusses why political ideology undermines logical reasoning. Our C&C Posts Not To Miss section includes the answer to the question, is the internet making you mean, explores what we talk about when we talk about morality, and has a timely throwback to judging political hearts and minds.                   

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