How Humor Boosts Creativity

People who watch funny videos on the Internet may be taking advantage of the latest psychological science—putting themselves in a good mood so they can think more creatively.

A recent study published in Psychological Science shows that positive mood has been found to enhance creative problem solving and flexible yet careful thinking. Ruby Nadler at the University of Western Ontario and colleagues looked at a particular kind of learning that is improved by creative thinking. Volunteers were put into different moods and then given a category learning task to do, such as classifying sets of pictures with visually complex patterns. The researchers manipulated mood with help from music clips and video clips. After listening to the music and watching the video, people had to try to learn to recognize a pattern.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

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Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

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Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from ‘math trauma’

Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.

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Mind & Brain

I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

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A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
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How KGB founder Iron Felix justified terror and mass executions

The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.

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Politics & Current Affairs
  • Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
  • The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
  • The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
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