Fright night. How we process fear.

Fear is as old as life on earth. Fear is a fundamental, deeply embedded survival strategy that has evolved over billions of years. It warns and protects living organisms against threats to their very existence. From the simple pricking up of a dog’s ears, to the start of a stampede on an African plain, or a…MORE

Creepy crawlies and why we fear them

Some fears and phobias we learn, but some, we are born with. Most of us have never seen a poisonous snake or spider, except perhaps on a wildlife documentary, our fears temporarily put at rest by the reassuringly smooth voice of Sir David Attenborough. Yet a large number of people find these creatures repulsive. There…MORE

Big Liar…

Can you spot when people are lying to you? If the answer is no, you might be suffering from what psychologists call truth bias – the assumption that most people tell the truth most of the time. They don’t. Most people think other people are telling the truth more often than they actually are. This is…MORE

Bad news I’m afraid…

Bad news is better delivered straight. A new study from Brigham Young University, Utah, has confirmed that you shouldn’t beat about the bush when delivering bad news. Psychologists looked at the best way to deliver bad news, and found that most people prefer directness. In fact, pussyfooting around just prolongs the agony. Speech is less…MORE

Hand Signals

Talking with our hands helps us to get our meaning across to others. When we speak, we conduct our conversation as we would conduct an orchestra, directing the listener’s attention to meaning, emphasising important points and steering the conversation from one theme to another. When we talk, ideas flow at speed and people must be…MORE

It’s OK to dwell on past mistakes…

We’re often told not to dwell on the past – especially on our past mistakes. We are told that if we want to move forward with our lives, we should forget the past and look to the future. But a group of eminent scientists say the opposite is true – because the pain of failure…MORE

Be happy in your work…

Workaholics are happy people after all… The term workaholic was first used by psychologists in the 1950’s when they tried to discover why although addiction to work was the same as an addiction to gambling, workaholics who loved their jobs didn’t suffer the same kind of negative health problems from working every hour God sends….MORE

Your popularity at school will affect your life

As unfair as it seems, it’s one of those facts of life – popular teenagers achieve greater academic success, make more money and have stronger relationships when they’re older. Those lower down the pecking order grow up to be at much greater risk of substance abuse, obesity, anxiety, depression, problems at work, criminal behaviour, injury,…MORE

Holding hands (and swearing) eases pain

It is well known that people unconsciously sync their footsteps with the person they’re walking with or adjust their posture to mirror a friend’s during conversation. Researchers at the University of Colorado believe that when lovers touch, and their breathing and heartbeats synchronize, feelings of pain can also disappear. Scientists believe that merely holding hands with…MORE

How brain structure and heartbeat affect your judgement

The structure of our brain controls our behaviour, but we think with our hearts more than our heads. Most of the time, we think with our heads, but occasionally, especially in moments of distraction, we unconsciously switch to thinking with our hearts. We do this far more than we know, or care to admit. Our…MORE