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Are you seen as jerk at work? A new study reveals that many people are oblivious to how they come across to counterparts and colleagues

Jill Abramson was recently ousted from her position as the executive editor of The New York Times for being, among other things, too "pushy." But did Abramson - who has also been described by the media as "polarizing" and "brusque" - know during the course of her tenure that others viewed her as being overly assertive? A new study from the Columbia Business School suggests that there's a great chance she didn't.

"Finding the middle ground between being pushy and being a pushover is a basic challenge in social life and the workplace. We've now found that the challenge is compounded by the fact that people often don't know how others see their assertiveness," said Daniel Ames, professor of management at Columbia Business School and co - author of the new study. "In the language of Goldilocks, many people are serving up porridge that others see as too hot or too cold, but they mistakenly think the temperature comes across as just right - that their assertiveness is seen as appropriate. To our surprise, we also found that many people whose porridge was actually seen as just right mistakenly thought their porridge came off as too hot. That is, they were asserting themselves appropriately in the eyes of others, but they incorrectly thought they were pushing too hard."
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Ever wonder how blind people dream?

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Ever wonder how blind people dream? Though some can dream visually, most of them use their other senses, namely hearing and touch.

A new study, published in the journal Sleep Medicine, shows that being blind certainly alters how one dreams. For the study, researchers observed 11 congenially blind, 14 late blind, and 25 sighted control participants over the course of four weeks. Every morning, participants completed surveys in relation to sensory construction of the dream, its emotional and thematic content, and the possible occurrence of nightmares. Scientists also tested participants' ability to produce visual images during waking cognition, sleep quality, and depression and anxiety levels.

Overall, the blind heard sounds and voices more than they saw anything in their dreams. The late-blind group, however, did experience some visual dreaming. All blind participants were also about four times more likely to have nightmares. Although the scientists didn't know why, they concluded that the blind might feel more threatened than other non-blind people.
Hearts

Gut Feelings: Listen to your intuition

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Have you ever been in a situation where your "gut feeling" told you one thing, but your rational mind said another? If you went with your brain rather than your intuition, there's a good chance you ended up regretting your decision. Your intuition is the subconscious leader that many people fail to give proper respect to. But learning to listen to this internal compass could help you make better decisions and live a more fulfilling life.
"I define intuition as the subtle knowing without ever having any idea why you know it," explains Sophy Burnham, bestselling author of The Art of Intuition, to The Huffington Post. "It's different from thinking, it's different from logic or analysis ... It's a knowing without knowing."
It's unconscious reasoning, the guidance that compels you to turn left when all signs may be pointing right. It's often the whisper inside that can lead you to the best results possible, if you will just learn to let go and give it a chance.

Comment: Additional information about the relationship between the gut and intuition:

Info

Near-death experiences are overwhelmingly peaceful

NDE
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Near-death experiences often feature out-of-body episodes.
Near-death experiences are rare, but if you have one, it is likely to be overwhelmingly peaceful, however painful it might have been to get to that stage. This is the conclusion from the first study into how the cause of trauma affects the content of a near-death experience.

Such episodes are often described as emotionally rich, involving out-of-body sensations, tunnels of light and flashbacks. They most often occur when a person has been resuscitated after a traumatic event.

Steven Laureys, a neuroscientist at the University of Liège in Belgium who works with people in comas and vegetative states, started to investigate after his patients told him of their own near-death experiences. "I kept hearing these incredible stories in my consultations," he says. "Knowing how abnormal brain activity is during a cardiac arrest or trauma, it was impressive how rich these memories were. It was very intriguing."

There are several hypothesises as to how these events arise, such as lack of oxygen to the brain or damage to areas that control emotion. "So you'd expect to see differences between near-death experiences after drowning and those of other traumas," he says.

His team looked at 190 documented events that resulted from traumas including cardiac arrest, drowning, head injury and high anxiety. Using statistical analysis and a measurement called the Greyson scale to assess the number and intensity of different features of the near-death experiences, the team discovered that surprisingly, the reports shared many similarities.
Blackbox

Science explains why you can't remember being a baby

babies
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Why don't you remember being a baby? How come you barely remember being a young child? How come a three-year-old can remember things that happened - but will then have no memories of that day a few years later?

These questions have puzzled people for ages. And a new paper in the journal Science provides the first evidence of a physical mechanism that might explain this odd phenomenon.

The paper, which studied rodents, concludes that the new cells that are constantly being formed in very young brains may be messing up the circuits that hold memories.
Family

Early life stress can leave lasting impacts on the brain

stress effect on brain
© Jamie Hanson and Seth Pollak
Different forms of early life stress, such as child maltreatment or poverty, impacted the size of two important brain regions: the hippocampus (shown in red) and amygdala (shown in green), according to new University of Wisconsin–Madison research. Children who experienced such stress had small amygdalae and hippocampai, which was related to behavioral problems in these same individuals.
For children, stress can go a long way. A little bit provides a platform for learning, adapting and coping. But a lot of it - chronic, toxic stress like poverty, neglect and physical abuse - can have lasting negative impacts.

A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers recently showed these kinds of stressors, experienced in early life, might be changing the parts of developing children's brains responsible for learning, memory and the processing of stress and emotion. These changes may be tied to negative impacts on behavior, health, employment and even the choice of romantic partners later in life.

The study, published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, could be important for public policy leaders, economists and epidemiologists, among others, says study lead author and recent UW Ph.D. graduate Jamie Hanson.
Health

Tree hugging is good for you

It has now been confirmed by science that hugging trees can beneficially affect human health by altering vibrational frequency.
tree hugging
© Flickr/Andrea Willa
Hugging a tree may have gained popularity as a maligned hippy practice, but it has now been validated by science to be incredibly beneficial for both people and the planet. Contrary to popular belief, hugging - or even just being in the vicinity of - a tree can boost one's health in several ways.

In a recently published book by author Matthew Silverstone, Blinded by Science, evidence confirming trees and their healthful benefits includes their effect on mental illnesses, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), concentration levels, reaction times, depression, and the ability to alleviate headaches.
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How to stop absorbing negative emotions

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Emotions such as fear, anger, frustration, and immobility are energies. And you can potentially 'catch' these energies from people without realizing it. If you tend to be an emotional sponge, it's vital to know how to avoid taking on an individual's negative emotions, or even how to deflect the free-floating negativities in crowds.

Another twist is that chronic anxiety, depression, or stress can turn you into an emotional sponge by wearing down your defenses. Suddenly, you become hyper-attuned to others, especially suffering with similar pain. That's how empathy works; we zero in on hot-button issues that are unresolved in ourselves.

From an energetic standpoint, negative emotions can originate from several sources: what you're feeling may be your own; it may be someone else's; or it may be a combination. Here is how to tell the difference and strategically bolster your positive emotions so you don't shoulder negativity that doesn't belong to you.
People 2

Big boys don't cry BUT deep down they're more emotional than women, reports new study


They like to show a hard exterior but that emotion is just waiting to come out
* The study found that men felt twice as emotional than women when shown heart-warming video clips

* Emotions were measured by tracking physiological reactions

* Despite showing stronger emotions, men reported feeling less emotional than women

He might like you to believe he's as hard as nails, but don't be fooled by your man's tough exterior.

Enlightening new research has found that men are in fact more emotional than women.

The experiment found that when men and women watched the same heart-warming videos, it was the men who experienced stronger physiological reactions.

But true to type, when asked about their emotions, the women admitted feeling more emotional than the men did.

The research which was carried out by psychology research institute, Mindlab, and commissioned by the Royal Mail, dispels the myth that men don't experience the same range of feelings as women.

Neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis who led the study said, 'Gender stereotypes about men being stoic and women being emotional are reinforced by our day to day consumption of media and our social interactions.
Music

Musical training improves cognitive function in math, language and executive tasks

music
© Will-travel
People with musical training make better choices and their brains process information more efficiently.
Musical training can boost the executive brain function of both adults and children, according to new research. Both the brains and behaviour of adult and child musicians were compared with non-musicians in the study by researchers at the Boston Children's Hospital. Fifteen musically trained children and 15 adult professional musicians were recruited and matched with non-musicians on a number of variables, like family income, IQ, parental education and so on.

They found that:
"Adult musicians compared to non-musicians showed enhanced performance on measures of cognitive flexibility, working memory, and verbal fluency.

Musically trained children showed enhanced performance on measures of verbal fluency and processing speed..." (Zuk et al., 2014)
Collectively these skills are known by psychologists as 'executive functioning'. High levels of executive functioning are what allow people to make good choices, effective plans and be flexible when situations change.
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