Unconventional Approaches to Happiness
While psychologists have cornered the market on what it means to be happy, other fields are slowly examining metrics that might give us a new perspective on the age-old pursuit.
What's the Latest Development?
Has our understanding of happiness been limited by our myopic tendency to consider it a metric belonging only to the psychologist? Linguists and animal behaviorists have recently been dipping their toes into the age-old pursuit. By collecting and studying the words we use across social media platforms, linguists have determined when we are happiest and what situations we associate with positive feelings. Late nights and early mornings spent with friends are good if you want to feel happy.
What's the Big Idea?
In the case of animal behaviorists, experiments have shown that under stressful conditions some species are more "optimistic" than others. When merino ewes and honeybees were confronted with mockups of their natural predators, only the ewes were willing to risk an ambiguous situation that could have led equally to tasty food or a growling dog. Honeybees, however, steered clear of anything that might risk another hive attack. To date, psychologists have not compared human behavior to either species.
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A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.
- Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
- The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
- Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Bushier eyebrows are associated with higher levels of narcissism, according to new research.
- Science has provided an excellent clue for identifying the narcissists among us.
- Eyebrows are crucial to recognizing identities.
- The study provides insight into how we process faces and our latent ability to detect toxic people.
It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.
- Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
- A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
- The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
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