1. That terrible football team you love is making you fat
APS says that on the Monday following a big football game, fans of the losing team seem to load up on saturated fats and sugars, whereas supporters of the winning team opt for healthier foods. So enjoy your carrots you smug fans of ___________ (insert most recent Super Bowl champ.)
2. Sadists are out there, and they want you to hurt
Most of the time, we try to avoid inflicting pain on others — when we do hurt someone, we typically experience guilt, remorse, or other feelings of distress. But for some, cruelty can be pleasurable, even exciting. While we might call these people jerks, more learned folks are calling them sadists. New research suggests that this kind of everyday sadism is real and more common than we might think.
3. Your desk says something about you
Working at a clean and prim desk may promote healthy eating, generosity, and conventionality, according to new research. But, the research also shows that a messy desk may confer its own benefits, promoting creative thinking and stimulating new ideas. If you do most of your work sitting cross legged on the floor, research says you may be in kindergarten.
4. Fear of holes is real… and may stem from evolutionary survival response
APS asks what do lotus flowers, soap bubbles, and aerated chocolate have in common? They may seem innocuous, even pleasant, but each of these items is a trigger for people who report suffering from trypophobia, or the fear of holes. For trypophobes, the sight of clusters of holes in various formations can cause intensely unpleasant visceral reactions.
5. Men’s upper-body strength predicts their political opinions
When it comes to economic redistribution, new research shows that political motivations may have evolutionary links to physical strength. So if we want the government to work it out, they may need to… work it out.
6. Singing makes cake taste better
Birthday celebrations often follow a formula, including off-key singing, making a birthday wish while blowing out candles, and the ceremonial cutting of the birthday cake. New research suggests that this ritual not only makes the experience more memorable, but might also improve the taste of the cake.
7. Dishonesty can be found with spacious seating
New research shows that expansive physical settings — such as having a big desk to stretch out while doing work or a large driver’s seat in an automobile — can cause individuals to feel more powerful, which may, in turn, elicit more dishonest behavior, such as stealing, cheating, and even traffic violations.
8. You want your baby to sweat
No, don’t put your baby on a treadmill. It is a specific kind off sweat. Infants who sweat less in response to scary situations at age 1 show more physical and verbal aggression at age 3, according to new research.
9. Parks make you better a better person
People who live in urban areas with more green space tend to report greater well-being than city dwellers who don’t have parks, gardens, or other green space nearby. The grass is actually greener on YOUR side.
10. Tylenol can fix existential crisis
Thinking about death can cause us to feel a sort of existential angst that isn’t attributable to a specific source. Now, new research suggests that acetaminophen, an over-the-counter pain medication, may help to reduce this existential pain. What good news! I can now die happy! Aw, man… wait, now I’m bummed out again.
11. Babies R’ bullies
Yes, it’s true. Babies prefer individuals who harm those that aren’t like them.
Infants as young as nine months old actually like folks who are nice to people like them and mean to people who aren’t like them. So… better start peeing your pants real quick if you ever want babies to like you.
12. Your roommate’s depression can rub off on you
A new study with college roommates shows that a particular style of thinking that makes people vulnerable to depression can actually “rub off” on others, increasing their symptoms of depression six months later. Studies show that people who respond negatively to stressful life events, interpreting the events as the result of factors they can’t change and as a reflection of their own deficiency, are more vulnerable to depression. This “cognitive vulnerability” is such a potent risk factor for depression that it can be used to predict which individuals are likely to experience a depressive episode in the future, even if they’ve never had a depressive episode before.
13. Eye Contact Creeps People Out
… or as our scientist friends phrase it, “may make people more resistant to persuasion.” While making eye contact has long been considered an effective way of drawing a listener in and bringing him or her around to your point of view, there’s new research that shows that eye contact may actually make people more resistant to persuasion, especially when they already disagree.