People Who Have Never Lost a Loved One Perceive Bereavement as Far More Devastating Than Someone Who Has Suffered a Previous Loss

People who have never suffered the loss of a loved one tend to believe that the bereavement process has a far more destructive and devastating effect on a person compared to those who have actually suffered such a loss in the past, according to a new study by the University of Haifa’s International Center for the Study of Loss, Bereavement and Human Resilience.

The study was presented on April 10 at a conference organized by the Center entitled “Memorial Days and Other Days.”

“Loss is a personal experience, but it’s also a social and cultural one,” says Prof. Shimshon Rubin, who heads the Center and was one of the study’s authors. “The way society relates to people who have suffered a loss is critical to the way the grieving process is managed, because the social component is very important in coping with bereavement.”

The study, which was conducted with psychologists Hagar Tehelet-Rubinov and Maya Halevi, questioned more than 200 men and women of different ages, a portion of whom had suffered loss or trauma in the past. Participants filled out a variety of questionnaires that included stories of people who had suffered different types of trauma or loss. The participants were asked to rank the severity of that person’s situation based on the way he coped with the painful event he had experienced.

Full story of emotional loss at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

The Cost of Sadness

Sadness Related to Financial LossYour emotions can certainly impact your decisions, but you might be surprised by the extent to which your emotions affect your pocketbook. New research from psychological scientist Jennifer Lerner of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and colleagues Yi Le and Elke U. Weber of Columbia University explores how impatience brought on by sadness can in turn produce substantial financial loss.

The study is published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Using data collected at the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory and the Center for Decision Sciences at Columbia, the authors found that subjects randomly assigned to view a video that induced sadness exhibited impatience and myopia, which were manifested in financial decisions that elicited higher gains in the short term, but lesser gains over the longer term. Thus, subjects in the sadness condition earned significantly less money than subjects in the neutral condition. They showed what is known as “present bias,” wherein decision makers want immediate gratification and so they ignore greater gains associated with waiting.

Full story of sadness and money at Science Daily

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Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Marriage Problems Linked to Emotional Disconnection Disorder

Marriage Problems Linked to Emotional DisconnectionAbout half the marriages in the United States end in divorce, and there are many reasons why these relationships do not endure. One reason for divorce and marriage problems has been linked to emotional disconnection disorder, also known as alexithymia.

Why some couples don’t communicate

Sometimes it seems that the more ways we have to communicate with each other (phone, text, email, fax, snail mail, video), the less adapt we are at doing so. Marriage is a relationship that can thrive when communication is good between partners but suffer miserably when it is not.

At the University of Missouri, researchers examined the prevalence of alexithymia among 155 heterosexual couples. The study was headed by Nick Frye-Cox, a doctoral student in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

Full story of marriage problems at Emax Health

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Gene That Predicts Happiness in Women Discovered

Happiness Genes in WomenA new study has found a gene that appears to make women happy, but it doesn’t work for men. The finding may help explain why women are often happier than men, the research team said.

Scientists at the University of South Florida (USF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute reported that the low-expression form of the gene monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) is associated with higher self-reported happiness in women. No such association was found in men.

The findings appear online in the journal Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry.

"This is the first happiness gene for women," said lead author Henian Chen, MD, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, USF College of Public Health.

"I was surprised by the result, because low expression of MAOA has been related to some negative outcomes like alcoholism, aggressiveness and antisocial behavior," said Chen, who directs the Biostatistics Core at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. "It’s even called the warrior gene by some scientists, but, at least for women, our study points to a brighter side of this gene."

Full story of happiness genes at Science Daily

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