Mud mountains, charitable giving, and the royal baby all make an appearance in this week's roundup. See what else you may have missed in the world of personality and social psychology. 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.
Health behavior change is notoriously difficult. If you have ever tried to exercise more often, drink more water, cut back on sweets, or even floss more regularly, you can probably relate to this difficulty firsthand. Some days you get it right and meet your new health-related goals, and on other days you fall short.
How far would you be willing to go for your favorite afternoon snack? Imagine the vending machine near your office is out of it. What would you do next? Some of us would simply choose another snack or just go back to our desk, but others would walk farther to the next vending machine, and still others would drive to the closest convenience store.
From health care professionals to political pundits, policy advisors to sports commentators, advisors are often portrayed as experts in their respective fields. These experts can make surprisingly inaccurate predictions about the future, yet people continue to trust in their predictions.
Starting a diet? Avoiding the bakery section at the grocery store is a good way to start. Not knowing what tempting baked goods are available can make it easier to stick with your health goal.
But what if you’re out celebrating a big promotion, and the chocolate cake is already calling your name? Could avoiding information about the calorie count of the cake before you make your decision also be considered a “smart” strategy?
People are living longer than ever. For many countries, average life expectancy is predicted to soon exceed 80 years. As a longevity expert put it, “We should be planning for more life.” And of course, this includes maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The beginning of a new year is a time of resolution setting and recovery from the festive season. We enjoyed plenty of ham, turkey, Christmas pudding and maybe a few alcoholic beverages. But merriment has consequences. In fact, the head of the Royal College of General Practitioners has asserted that due to poor diet and lifestyle habits, Santa Claus probably has a few health problems, one of which being gout.
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?