How gratitude makes you more attractive

Social interactions are important for building the strongest relationships.

  • When someone says thank you, who is it for? According to Dr. Sara Algoe, expressions of gratitude have a positive effect on the person receiving the message, the person delivering it, and even those who witness the exchange. These types of social interactions are crucial for building lasting relationships with romantic partners, friends, and coworkers.
  • "When we say 'thank you,' we're sending a message to the person who just did something nice for us, that they are valued, that they're seen, that the thing that they did for us was worth doing in the first place," Algoe says.
  • Expressing gratitude is easy, and the research shows that the benefits far outweigh the effort.

Stressed-out mothers are twice as likely to give birth to a girl

New research from the University of Granada found that stress could help determine sex.

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  • A new study found that women with elevated stress before, during, and after conception are twice as likely to deliver a girl.
  • One factor could be that sperm carrying an X chromosome are better equipped to reach the egg under adverse conditions.
  • Another factor could be miscarriage of male fetuses during times of stress.
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Regret over a hookup doesn’t change our behavior

A study finds that sexual regret doesn't change how we behave in the future.

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  • Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology investigate the degree to which regret regarding sexual encounters makes us modify our behavior.
  • Women more often have regrets about encounters that occurred, while men regret the ones that didn't.
  • According to the study, people keep doing what they've been doing and continue to have the same regrets.
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Is empathy always good?

Research has shown how important empathy is to relationships, but there are limits to its power.

Videos
  • Empathy is a useful tool that allows humans (and other species) to connect and form mutually beneficial bonds, but knowing how and when to be empathic is just as important as having empathy.
  • Filmmaker Danfung Dennis, Bill Nye, and actor Alan Alda discuss the science of empathy and the ways that the ability can be cultivated and practiced to affect meaningful change, both on a personal and community level.
  • But empathy is not a cure all. Paul Bloom explains the psychological differences between empathy and compassion, and how the former can "get in the way" of some of life's crucial relationships.
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New research reveals why some octopuses punch fish

"Don't tread on me" is a slogan of the deep sea, too.

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Surprising Science
  • Octopuses are part of multispecific collaborative hunting groups with bottom-feeding fish.
  • New research shows octopuses defending their territory by punching fish.
  • The team believes this research helps reveal underlying game structures in the deep sea.
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BDSM therapy: Are there therapeutic and relational benefits to being submissive?

In-depth research suggests BDSM practitioners can experience altered states of consciousness that can be therapeutic.

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Sex & Relationships
  • BDSM is an acronym encompassing a variety of sexual practices that include: bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, and sadism/masochism. The practice of BDSM usually consists of partners taking on specific roles in which one partner is dominant and the other is submissive.
  • BDSM practitioners (individuals who frequently engage in BDSM play) can experience various mental health benefits from engaging in their scenes.
  • According to the research, subspace is often characterized by the activation of the sympathetic nervous system, the release of epinephrine and endorphins, and a subsequent period of non-verbal, deep relaxation.
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