Telling a ‘white lie’ may affect one’s ability to recognize emotions

If you lie to someone, you may find it more difficult to tell what that other person is thinking or feeling. This is the main takeaway of a new study that examines the ‘unintended consequences of dishonest behavior.’

Whether it is suffering or joy, empathy helps us feel what another person feels, and — a lot of the time — our ability to empathize is the reason why we choose to do good deeds and help one another.

But does this mean that empathy and ethical behavior are one and the same? What is the relationship between dishonest acts and empathetic feelings?

Full story at Medical News Today

False missile alert may have ‘benefited’ people with anxiety

New research from the American Psychological Association has examined the effects of a missile strike alarm — which turned out to be false — on the anxiety levels of Twitter users.

On the morning of January 13, 2018, the residents of Hawaii received an emergency alert urging them to seek shelter.

They received a message stating that a missile strike was headed toward them.

The message quickly became viral; an employee of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (EMA) mistakenly sent the alarm over radio, television, smartphones, and other wireless devices, accompanied by the disclaimer “this is not a drill.”

Full story at Medical News Today

Want To Feel Happier Today? Try Talking To A Stranger

The doors open wide, you enter, and they close behind you. As the elevator begins its ascent, you realize it’s just you and one other person taking this ride. The silence soon grows uncomfortable.

Pop quiz. What’s your go-to move?

  • A) stare at your shoes
  • B) pull out your cell phone
  • C) make brief eye contact
  • D) initiate chit chat

If your answer was B, you’re like far too many of us, eyes glued to our phones, attention focused on the digital world.

Many of us tend to do just about anything to avoid conversation or even eye contact with strangers. And smartphones make it easier than ever to do that: A recent study found the phones can keep us from even exchanging brief smiles with people we meet in public places. But a body of research has shown that we might just be short-changing our own happiness by ignoring opportunities to connect with the people around us.

Full story at NPR

People are more likely to try drugs for the first time during the summer

American teenagers and adults are more likely to try illegal or recreational drugs for the first time in the summer, a new study shows.

Led by researchers at NYU School of Medicine, the study found that over a third (34 percent) of recent LSD initiates first used the drug in the summer. In addition, 30 percent of marijuana, 30 percent of ecstasy (also known as MDMA or Molly), and 28 percent of cocaine use was found to begin in summer months.

“First-time users may be unfamiliar with the effects of various drugs, so it is important to first understand when people are most likely to start these behaviors,” says study senior investigator Joseph J. Palamar, MPH, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Population Health at NYU School of Medicine.

In 2017, according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more than 3 million people in the United States tried LSD, marijuana, cocaine, or ecstasy for the first time.

Full story at Science Daily

Night owls’ health may benefit from ‘simple’ routine adjustments

People who go to bed late and wake up late can often experience health problems because their body clock does not align with the regular rhythms of modern society. However, a new study suggests that a few easy routine adjustments could go a long way for night owls.

Research from earlier this year found that night owls — people who naturally keep late hours — experience an effect similar to jet lag on a daily basis.

This occurs, at least in part, because they have to meet the requirements of a world that we created for “morning people,” in which 9 to 5 jobs are standard, and there is the expectation that people should primarily work in the mornings.

Full story at Medical News Today